EU, NATO clash over Russian proposal

Feb. 7, 2009 at 2:26 PM

MUNICH, Germany, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The European Union and NATO are clashing over Russia's call for a new European security architecture, analysts say.

While EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told the Munich Security Conference Saturday that the new treaty idea presented by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev "deserves to be taken seriously," NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer was less enthusiastic, the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

Solana said Medvedev's proposals -- which include the convening of an all-European conference on security, the adoption of a new European security structure and a broader discussion on the validity of existing European arms control agreements -- should be discussed.

But others see the Russian proposals as a way to stop the expansion of NATO. Scheffer, whose military alliance whose be crucial to any new European security arrangement, ruled out such discussions as long as Russia plans to build military bases in the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Deutsche Welle said.

"I cannot see how we can have such a discussion of the new architecture … when Russia is building bases inside Georgia. That cannot be ignored, and it cannot be the foundation of a new security architecture," Scheffer told the conference.

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