NATO Aims to Ease Russian Fears

Posted December 7th, 2011 at 5:20 am (UTC-5)
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NATO is hoping it can ease a rift with Russia over plans for a missile defense system.

NATO foreign ministers are set to start two days of talks in Brussels Wednesday. Much of the focus will be on the organization's plans for a joint U.S.-NATO missile defense across Europe.

The United States and NATO say the system is being designed to help deter threats from countries such as Iran, but Russia views the shield as a threat.

NATO foreign ministers are set to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about the shield and other issues on Thursday.

The two-day session will also take a look at efforts in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of foreign troops from the war-torn country in 2014. The meeting will also focus on the ongoing NATO mission in Kosovo.

Thirty NATO soldiers were injured in clashes late last month as they tried to prevent Serb protesters from erecting a barricade in the northern town of Jagnjenica.