Sunday, March 04, 2007

Solana said it was "questionable" that there was any current ballistic missile threat to the EU, but the possibility of such a threat emerging in the future was something the bloc would have to take into consideration.

German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung, who chaired the EU meeting, said the missile defense issue should be discussed between NATO and Russia. Jung and Solana both stressed the importance of maintaining good relations with Moscow.

"The relationship between Russia and the European Union has to be solid," Solana said. "Russia is not a country that is very far from us, it's in our neighborhood."

He said Russia and the EU had to work together on a number of "strategic" issues including Iran, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Solana said talks between Western diplomats and the Kremlin had helped soothe relations since Russian President Vladimir Putin assailed U.S. foreign policy at a security conference in Munich last month. "I think the situation is now much more calm," Solana said. "I don't think we have to dramatize that."

International Herald Tribune

It often happens when EU interests/views become aligned with Russia questioning US decisions (and they are aligned, despite the diplomatic wording of Mr. Solano) that both are right in the end. The issue is persuading the US to follow.

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