NATO will be holding its 25th summit in President Obama’s hometown of Chicago, United States, on 20-21 May 2012,” the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has announced.
According to NATO’s website, the Chicago conference is expected to “deliver on decisions that were taken at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, driving forward key Alliance policies and reaffirming the transatlantic link.”
Among the many significant achievements announced by the heads of state and government in the 2010 Lisbon Declaration referenced above is their claim that “we have ... invited Russia to deepen its cooperation with us on the areas where we have common interests.”
A dramatic move toward closer ties between NATO and Russia has played out over the past several years while, on the surface, at least, relations between Brussels and Moscow have appeared to deteriorate. President-elect Vladimir Putin, who has been noted for bashing the United States and NATO, stepped up the harsh rhetoric during his recent presidential campaign, no doubt gaging much of his forensic attack to appeal to Russian nationalism. How much of this was theatrics for domestic and international consumption is open to debate. However, in his role as prime minister, Putin approved of NATO's use of Russian territory for air supply convoys for the Afghanistan War.
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