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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

NATO Asks Moscow to Clarify Ties

APSchr?der joking with a woman while visiting a bookstore to promote the Russian edition of his book on Saturday.
GENEVA -- NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the alliance wanted "a solid, trustful" relationship with Russia and that it was up to Moscow to clarify whether it wanted the same.

De Hoop Scheffer told security experts meeting in Geneva that such a relationship would be a "long-term investment in European, and indeed global, security."

"It is up to Russia to clarify whether it holds a different view," he said.

The relationship between Moscow and the 26-nation alliance was tested Thursday when Norwegian and British fighters were scrambled to intercept eight Russian bombers that neared the Nordic country's territory.

The Russian planes stayed inside international airspace during the maneuvers, which officials described as a statement of Russia's growing military prowess.

"If we look at Russia's recent behavior, we see that even after a decade of steady progress the NATO-Russia relationship remains vulnerable to Cold War stereotypes. We have to get beyond this state of affairs. We must not allow short-term tactical considerations to put at risk a long-term strategic partnership," De Hoop Scheffer said.

He also told an annual security conference organized by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies that NATO needed a "new strategic concept."

"Our prevailing security paradigm has shifted," De Hoop Scheffe said, adding that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States showed that NATO had to engage security threats where they arose, even if they were outside the territory of its member states.