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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Clinton Urges NATO to Work With Russia

WASHINGTON — NATO must boost security cooperation with Russia and streamline operations to face new challenges — both military and civilian — in coming years, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

Clinton said new partnerships, including with Russia, would help NATO take on growing transnational threats including nuclear proliferation, terrorism, piracy and cyber security.

"While Russia faces challenges to its security, NATO is not among them," Clinton told a Washington think tank Monday, stressing that a new U.S. plan for European missile defense was no threat to Moscow.

"Just as Russia is an important partner in efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation, so should it be in missile defense," she said. "And we invite Russia to join NATO in developing a missile defense system that can protect all citizens of Europe and Russia."

Clinton's speech to the Atlantic Council was the latest effort by the U.S. administration to reassure European allies that Washington will hold tight to trans-Atlantic ties despite growing preoccupation with China, Iran and other hot spots.

It was also a new gesture to Moscow, which has grown increasingly nervous over new U.S. plans for European missile defense as well as plans to continue expanding NATO membership.

NATO is now undertaking a major review to assess its structure and goals for coming decades, and Clinton said it was crucial that member states take the opportunity to reimagine the alliance as a broader, more flexible organization.

"You don't win by fighting the last war," she said.

She said NATO must guard against both terrorism and outright military threats, including nuclear proliferation and missile development in countries such as North Korea and Iran.

And she said Russia — for so long the focus of NATO's fears — could emerge as a partner, including on missile defense.

Clinton said that while the United States had "real differences" with Russia in several areas, it was also committed to working with Moscow to advance common interests.

"We want a cooperative NATO-Russia relationship that produces concrete results," she said.

She said the idea of partnership should be central to a new streamlined NATO, which needs a more powerful secretary-general to achieve its goals.