While attending a conference in Belgium on December 2, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed the United States’ support of a gradual, informal resumption of contacts between NATO and Russia. She stated, “This isn’t an issue of isolating Russia, but it is an issue of what kinds of contacts are appropriate. And I think this is a completely appropriate thing for the alliance to do.”
Relations between NATO and Russia were suspended in August following the Russian-Georgian crisis. The resumption of relations was also supported by NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and other foreign ministers attending the conference.
Though Georgia and Ukraine have yet to be offered an official invitation to join NATO, Rice stressed that their eventual membership remains important to the U.S.
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