Russia, NATO to discuss Turkey missile request - Lavrov

MOSCOW Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:01pm IST

Related Topics

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia and NATO will on Friday discuss Moscow's opposition to the possible deployment of Patriot missiles near Turkey's border with Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Lavrov reiterated Russia's concerns about Turkey's request for NATO to deploy the surface-to-air missiles because of Ankara's fears of spillover from the civil war in Syria.

He said he would discuss the issue by telephone with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who said on Thursday the alliance would "do what it takes to defend our ally Turkey".

"Apparently he (Rasmussen) wants to explain (NATO's) position on this issue," Lavrov told a news conference after talks in Moscow with Bangladesh's foreign minister, Dipu Moni.

"The main concern is the more weapons there are, the greater the risk that they will be used."

He said Russia, which is not a member of NATO and cannot block a decision, understood that no one intended to drag the alliance into the Syrian crisis.

"But ... in the military field, what is important is not intentions, but potential. And when potential increases, the risks grow," he said.

The West has criticised Russia, as well as China, for vetoing three U.N. Security Council resolutions aimed at putting pressure on Assad to end a conflict activists say has killed more than 38,000 people since protests began in March 2011.

Russia denies trying to prop up Assad, whose nation has been an avid buyer of its weapons and hosts a naval supply facility that is Moscow's only military base outside the ex-Soviet Union.

(Writing by Steve Gutterman, Editng by Timothy Heritage)

FILED UNDER:

WORLD NEWS

Reuters Showcase

Documentary Banned

Documentary Banned

Documentary on 2012 Delhi gang rape banned in India.  Full Article 

RBI Rate Cut

RBI Rate Cut

RBI surprises with post-budget rate cut.  Full Article 

Beef Ban

Beef Ban

After beef ban, Hindu groups force abattoirs to close   Full Article 

Insurance Reforms

Insurance Reforms

Opposition support bolsters prospects for insurance reforms.  Full Article 

Axed by Censors

Axed by Censors

India's censor blocks 'Fifty Shades of Grey' from cinemas.  Full Article 

Bollywood Focus

Bollywood Focus

Franchise Man swoops in to save Bollywood.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India expects better monsoon rains this year.  Full Article 

Reuters Interview

Reuters Interview

Budget lacks wow, but good enough: Jim O’Neill.  Full Article 

Slim Chances

Slim Chances

Dozens of miners missing, feared dead after blast in east Ukraine.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage