Stop NATO News: February 15, 2012: Russia To Counter U.S. Interceptor Missile Ships Off Coasts

15 February 2012012

  • Russia To Counter U.S. Interceptor Missile Ships Off Coasts
  • U.S. Aircraft Carrier Passes Through Strait Of Hormuz
  • NATO Holds High Level Consultations With Four Gulf Countries
  • Russian Foreign Minister: West Preparing Replay Of Libyan Model In Syria
  • NATO Representative: Georgia’s Full Membership Is Decided Issue
  • Germany Supports Macedonia’s Full NATO Membership
  • War Zone Deployments: U.S. European Command Director Solidifies Ties With Armenia

Russia To Counter U.S. Interceptor Missile Ships Off Coasts

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012/02/14/66040512.html

Interfax
February 14, 2012

US Aegis ships off Russian coast may trigger retaliation

       
The General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces is considering retaliatory measures if the US deploys its naval ships with the Aegis missile defence system aboard in the northern seas and the Black Sea.

This came in a statement by the Chief of the Russian General Staff Nikolai Makarov.

He pointed out that a US cruiser with the Aegis system on board has recently stayed in the Black Sea for 15 days. The Chicago NATO summit in May will largely affect Russia-NATO relations on the problem of missile defence in Europe.

The summit is due to sum up the results of the first stage of building the US strategic missile defence system and approve further plans that provide, among other things, for deploying naval ships with the Aegis system aboard.

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http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/article_xinhua.asp?id=50692

Xinhua News Agency
February 14, 2012

Moscow would counter U.S. warships deployed near Russia: military chief

MOSCOW: Russia would respond if the United States deploys warships in the Black Sea or Arctic, Russian Chief of the General Staff Nikolai Makarov said Tuesday.

‘In a case where such (Aegis anti-missile system-equipped) ships appear in the Barents Sea, or in the Black Sea for instance, we will likely take special measures in the frame of the state re-armament program,’ Makarov told reporters.

‘But we would not like to use these measures as they increase the financial burden for us,’ he added.

Referring to the U.S.-led NATO missile defense shield in Europe, which, according to the United States, is aimed at countering potential missile threats from Iran, Makarov said it would also pose a threat for Russia.

By 2018, an entirely different generation of those missiles would be ‘capable of shooting down strategic missiles over our territory,’ Makarov said.

Moscow has long opposed the deployment of NATO missile defense facilities near its borders and wants legally binding guarantees from the United States and NATO that the shield does not target Russia.

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U.S. Aircraft Carrier Passes Through Strait Of Hormuz

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012/02/14/66062932.html

Itar-Tass
February 14, 2014

USS Abraham Lincoln passes through Hormuz Strait

USS Abraham Lincoln, accompanied by two smaller vessels, passed through the Strait of Hormuz close to the Iranian coast today.

An Iranian patrol boat shadowed the American aircraft carrier, flanked by a cruiser and a destroyer, at an 800-meter distance.

This is the second time USS Abraham Lincoln passed through this straight in last two weeks.

Another aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, is currently stationed at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

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NATO Holds High Level Consultations With Four Gulf Countries

http://www.bna.bh/portal/en/news/494322

Bahrain News Agency
February 15, 2012

NATO Holds High Level Consultations With Four Gulf Countries

Brussels: NATO permanent representatives met senior officials from Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, the four countries which are part of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), at a seminar at NATO headquarters on Tuesday to discuss ways to deepen their partnership ahead of NATO’s Chicago Summit in May.

A NATO announcement today noted that exactly one year since an ambassadorial seminar in Doha, this was an opportunity to review the significant achievements of the past year, such as the political and practical contribution of countries, according to a report of Kuwait News Agency ‘KUNA’.

Other issues discussed included NATO’s Operation Unified Protector in Libya, the support for the UN-mandated ISAF operation in Afghanistan and the development of closer consultative mechanisms following the adoption of NATO’s new Strategic Concept at the Lisbon Summit in 2010.

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Russian Foreign Minister: West Preparing Replay Of Libyan Model In Syria

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=309671

Interfax
February 15, 2012

Conflict in Syria cannot be settled without intl involvement at this stage – Lavrov

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‘I cannot shake off the feeling that the accumulation of compromising materials is underway to be used later in justifying the replay of the Libyan model,’ Lavrov said.

‘I have the impression that those who presented this mission expected Damascus to reject it. And when it agreed, they were confused,’ Lavrov said.

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THE HAGUE: The conflict in Syria cannot be settled without international involvement at the present stage, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

‘It is impossible, because the international community has applied a lot of efforts to set the opposition against agreeing to any negotiations with the authorities,’ Lavrov told journalists on Tuesday.

‘Therefore, if we all only talk about national dialogue, the international community, or, to be more precise, the part of it that has been engaged in this, should tell the opposition now that, for less blood to be shed, it is necessary to sit at the negotiating table,’ he said.

Lavrov pointed out that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had said he had invested his Vice President Farouk al-Shara with the necessary powers to negotiate with the opposition, which earlier refused to sit at the negotiating table with Assad but was willing to talk with al-Shara. After that, Lavrov went on to say, Syrian National Council leader Burhan Ghalioun said the opposition did not want to negotiate with Shara, either.

‘I cannot shake off the feeling that the accumulation of compromising materials is underway to be used later in justifying the replay of the Libyan model,’ Lavrov said.

Arab countries earlier presented an ultimatum to Syria that it receive a mission of League of Arab States monitors on its territory, and it took Moscow quite a lot of efforts to persuade Assad to receive these monitors, Lavrov said.

Once Damascus agreed to receive Arab League monitors, some countries questioned their efficiency even before they started working, he said.

‘I have the impression that those who presented this mission expected Damascus to reject it. And when it agreed, they were confused,’ Lavrov said.

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NATO Representative: Georgia’s Full Membership Is Decided Issue

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=44635&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
February 14, 2012

Appathurai comments on Georgia`s membership into NATO

Georgia`s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance is a decided issue, NATO Special Representative to South Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, has announced.

James Appathurai paid an official visit to Armenia, where he gave an interview to local First Channel Television. Appathurai said Georgia was carrying out all necessary reforms on its road to NATO membership.

The NATO envoy also said the alliance worked with the Caucasian states individual programs and that NATO authorities did not discuss the Caucasus as one element for cooperation.

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Germany Supports Macedonia’s Full NATO Membership

http://www.emg.rs/en/news/region/174706.html

Macedonian Information Agency
February 15, 2012

Merkel: Macedonia should join NATO, Germany prepared to assist

Macedonia is a de facto member of NATO, according to [Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski].
Macedonia as a nation has been contributing wherever NATO has required us to do so. Our troops are taking part in NATO-led mission and our lawmakers have never voted against that. Macedonia is the fifth contributing nation according to the number of troops deployed in Afghanistan and half of country’s budget is spent on our efforts in Afghanistan.

Germany is a strong supporter of Macedonia at political and economic level and is once again offering its assistance in all spheres. Both countries foster cordial overall relations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and PM Nikola Gruevski concluded Tuesday at their hour-long meeting in Berlin.

Merkel speaking at a joint press conference said that Germany was advocating for Macedonia’s integration to NATO, underlying that progress needed to be made in the name talks with Greece.

‘The rules are clear – undoubtedly the International Court of Justice has reached a verdict that is a success for the Macedonian government. I personally believe that NATO accession is crucial and that name talks with Greece must continue in a bid a resolution to be found,’ Merkel stressed.

The German Chancellor – who called the country by Macedonia’s constitutional name throughout the news conference – said she expected Western Balkan countries to meet required conditions, following the example of Croatia and Slovenia, before joining Euro-Atlantic institutions.

Premier Gruevski said Macedonia’s objective was to further develop and advance bilateral relations, thus paving the way toward bolstering the countries’ cooperation.

Referring to Macedonia’s NATO and EU membership, Gruevski informed Merkel on ongoing reforms in Macedonia focused on meeting necessary standards.

‘The Republic of Macedonia for three years in a row has gotten a positive report from the European Commission and recommendation for start of EU accession talks and has met all of the conditions and criteria for NATO membership, which was acknowledged by the Alliance at the Bucharest summit in 2008,’ Gruevski said and thanked Merkel for Germany’s endorsement of the NATO open door policy.

Macedonia is a de facto member of NATO, according to him.

Macedonia as a nation has been contributing wherever NATO has required us to do so. Our troops are taking part in NATO-led mission and our lawmakers have never voted against that. Macedonia is the fifth contributing nation according to the number of troops deployed in Afghanistan and half of country’s budget is spent on our efforts in Afghanistan. Still, we are hampered to become a member as a result of a dispute with neighbouring Greece over our name, identity and language,’ Gruevski said.

The PM added that Macedonia had ‘reasonable expectations’ from the forthcoming NATO summit in Chicago taking into consideration country’s contribution to ISAF and the judgement of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

‘The ICJ has ruled that Greece had unjustified motives to block Macedonia’s membership to NATO and has said that we do not have to be hindered by such a condition by Greece. Therefore, we believe that country’s expectations from the summit in Chicago are reasonable when it comes to respecting international law, acknowledging our efforts. We are making attempts to secure support from countries that strongly believe in fairness and international laws. Germany is undoubtedly one of those countries. Despite the ruling of UN’s highest legal body, we remain committed to negotiations with Greece in finding a mutually acceptable solution to the issue,’ PM Gruevski noted.

Speaking about the economic crisis in Europe, he praised the leading role of Germany and Chancellor Merkel in addressing the challenges as well as their commitment to ensuring conditions for countries to develop.

PM Gruevski met with Chancellor Merkel in Berlin for the second time. Their first meeting took place right after Gruevski was elected head of the Macedonian government.

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War Zone Deployments: U.S. European Command Director Solidifies Ties With Armenia

http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/93784/

PanArmenian.net
February 15, 2012

Armenian Defense Minister, U.S. Rear Admiral discuss cooperation

Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan met with deputy director for Plans, Policy and Strategy at U.S. European Command, Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery.

The two men discussed the strengthening of cooperation, with Real Admiral Montgomery thanking Minister Ohanyan for the professionalism of the Armenian peacemakers in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

The holding of joint exercises and implementation of education projects was also in the focus of the meeting.

As part of his visit to Armenia, the U.S. official also met with deputy head of Armenian Armed forces General Staff, Lieutenant-General Stepan Galstyan.