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MOSCOW, November 16. /TASS/. There is a great deal of hope that the terrorist attacks in France entail a rapprochement in relations between Russia and the West, but it is very unlikely such cooperation may last long enough to become strategic, analysts say.
The Russian Foreign Ministry hopes that NATO countries will revise their priorities after the terrorist raids in the French capital, says Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.
"We do hope that the events in Paris will put everything in its proper place and change the scale of priorities our counterparts in Washington and other NATO capitals prefer to adhere to," he said.
In the meantime, the former commander of NATO’s forces in Europe, James Stavridis, has pointed to the need for changes, in particular, to enhancing cooperation with Moscow for struggle against terrorists in Syria.
The head of the European security section at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Europe, Dmitry Danilov, sees certain reasons to expect NATO’s priorities will be revised in favour of cooperation with Russia, and not of confrontation with it.
"It is clear to the naked eye that such threats are on the top of the list and resistance to them must be common, despite the existing fundamental differences on other issues. But it is of the essence to discuss the specific parameters of future interaction. For the time being nothing of the sort is in sight. Nobody cares to lifts a finger."
"For now I see no prospects for a fundamental change in NATO’s stance, although as 9/1 showed, such stunning shakeups require fundamental reconsideration of political approaches. Russia demonstrated precisely this kind of attitude in 2001, when it proposed assistance and cooperation to the United States. These days Putin is offering assistance to France. This is the political basis that may come in handy for starting a dialogue on joint resistance to terrorism."
"Russia is NATO’s strategic opponent. These are the strategic concepts that have existed starting from 1991, Professor Vladimir Shtol, of the presidential academy RANEPA, told TASS. "But at certain moments in history, when the West in general and NATO, in particular, are having a hard time, they may turn to Russia for assistance and solidarity. That’s what happened in 2001, when the US saw a terrible tragedy. But now, that everything is more or less calm and bright, Russia is number one opponent for the West again. Moreover, just recently the US president mentioned us as a threat on the same list with the Islamic State."
Aware that in the struggle with terrorism concerted action by secret services and armed forces is essential, the West has made it clear that it counts on cooperation with Russia in this respect, Shtol said. "But I have very big doubts that such cooperation may last. True, cooperation is crucial and there is no sound alternative to it. But it would be wrong to regard it as a long-term development and a change in NATO’s strategy. Everything will remain unchanged by and large."
"We had rather constructive cooperation with NATO before the Ukrainian crisis," recalls the head of the situation analysis section at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Sergey Utkin. "There was the Russia-NATO Council and there were ad-hoc groups. So it is to be hoped that the implementation of the Minsk Accords will help achieve a political settlement format. This is a prerequisite for putting the relations on the original track, possibly, without restoring the levels of trust that existed in the past, though. Syria and the Islamic State are common concerns and they surely provide extra arguments why normalization should not be delayed any more."
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