Events in Georgia and the ill fated push by former President George Bush to install missile bases in Poland have damaged relations between Russia and Western Europe. However, a NATO spokesperson said yesterday there is now a desire to initiate discussions with Russia in order to restore the semblance of harmonious relations. NATO leaders want Russia to assume a more pro-active stance in dealing with terrorism and assist in the war in Afghanistan as well as serve as an intermediary with Iran. Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said he expected to shortly be contacted and talks to shortly begin.
There are many shared interests between NATO and Russia. There are millions of Muslims in Russia and its government fears terrorists who would stir up agitation and violence. Russia has no desire for a powerful nuclear armed Muslim Iran on its border and would wok with the West to reduce this possibility.
Perhaps, it is time for NATO to officially invite Russia to become a member and to accept the Russian proposal for a joint anti-missile base on its territory.