Moscow, Russia: North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will offer Russia access to some US military satellite data in exchange for its participation in a missile shield project for continental Europe, according to a Moscow newspaper report.
“By joining the NATO ABM system, Moscow could strengthen the territorial security of Russia by receiving ‘certain information’ from US satellites — for example, images of the DPRK (North Korea),” the newspaper wrote.
The offer will come as part of a broader deal to be extended to Russia at the NATO-Russia Council that immediately follows the 28-member alliance’s November 19-20 summit in Lisbon, Nezavisimaya Gazeta quoted a NATO source. However, NATO officials in Brussels could not immediately confirm the report.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has accepted an invitation to attend the talks, which besides long-range missile defences will also focus on NATO’s activities in Afghanistan, in which Russia is also taking part.
NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has invited Russia to join the proposed missile shield, at the same time stressing that “we do not want to impose a specific missile defence architecture on Russia.”
Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said, “We proceed from the fact that if it’s equal cooperation then such cooperation is quite possible. Strategic partnership should be built on an equal basis.”
Medvedev has also cautiously welcomed the deal but said Russia would like to see more details.
Nezavisimaya Gazeta cited a NATO source as saying that the deal involves a proposal to share information about missile and other threats, and to grant Russia access to some US satellite intelligence imagery, including about countries such as North Korea.