Brussels: NATO chief Anders Fogh
Rasmussen will visit Russia next week for talks on deepening
Russian cooperation on Afghanistan and lay the groundwork for
a major summit, his spokesman said today.
Rasmussen will meet President Dmitry Medvedev on
November 5 to see if the two sides can "move forward" on a
NATO request for Moscow to provide around 20 helicopters to
Afghan forces, said NATO spokesman James Appathurai.
The discussion will also touch on the possibility of a
"broadening" of a transit arrangement in which Russia allows
NATO to use its territory to ferry non-lethal supplies for
troops in Afghanistan via rail, he said.
"There will be work to see if we can enhance our
cooperation in training counter-narcotics officials,"
Appathurai added, noting that Russia is already providing such
training outside Moscow.
Rasmussen`s visit will take place ahead of a summit
between the 28-nation Western military alliance and Russia in
Lisbon on November 20, right after NATO leaders hold their own
NATO leaders are expected to agree at their summit on
the need for the military alliance to launch an anti-missile
shield to protect their populations.
Appathurai reiterated that NATO would invite Russia to
cooperate in the project, which will be a topic of discussion
between Rasmussen and Russian officials next week.