Russia, NATO to discuss Turkey missile request - Lavrov

Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:50am EST

* NATO chief, Russian minister to talk by telephone

* Russia resists missile deployment near Turkey-Syria border

MOSCOW Nov 23 (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.

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (2)
marisa70394 wrote:
Doesn’t everybody just hate Lavrov? He is nothing but Putin’s bulldog, and his horrible Russian accent when he speaks English is enough to turn even the most patient stomach. Anyway, screw Russia! I can’t wait for Assad to fall, dragging down with it Russia and China. It is pretty clear that both Russia and China support terrorists like Hamas, Assad’s government, Iran’s government, North Korea’s government, etc. They support anything contrary to the US and EU’s interests.

Nov 23, 2012 7:15am EST  --  Report as abuse
Renox wrote:
When war criminals like Rasmussen run organizations what do you expect to happen? More war, more death more destruction. If Rasmussen is so keen on killing, give him a gun and let him fight it out himself.
Do not send others to die.

Nov 25, 2012 6:21am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.