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Although the Russian military officially denies it, Moscow’s political elite are considering linking up politically and “institutionally” with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as Western countries look to build a “strategic partnership” with Russia, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Officials at the Western security alliance’s headquarters see the move as doing away with the last vestiges of East-West confrontation.

The approach apparently is being considered as NATO prepares for its November summit in Lisbon, Portugal. NATO’s secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has pointed to an increase in NATO-Russian partnership with cooperation in such areas as trying to halt the flow of drugs, human trafficking and terrorism, and supporting efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.

Rasmussen also has stated there no longer is any need for mutual nuclear deterrence, “since we are partners.”

He once again renewed an invitation for Russia to be involved in a project to create a joint ballistic missile defense system in Europe – presumably against Iran – with the hope it will unite NATO with the Russian military.

Ivo Daalder, the U.S. permanent representative at NATO headquarters, echoed Rasmussen’s call by pointing to cooperative efforts between Russia and NATO in halting the flow of drugs and in cooperating in bringing stability to Afghanistan.

Indeed, there also is a mutual interest in combating the rising tide of terrorism that has begun to sweep from Central Asia and into the North Caucasus region that constitutes Russia’s southern tier.

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