Moscow favours parallel development of co-operation with the European Union and Nato, Russian Foreign Minister official spokesman Alxander Yakovenko said in a RIA Novosti interview on Tuesday.
On the eve of negotiations between Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Secretary General of the EU Council Javier Solana to be held on Wednesday he said that such co-operation "should imply a balanced and non-discriminatory system of interaction between all major European and Euro-Atlantic organisations and countries." Yakovenko said that "we link prospects of the development of political dialogue with the EU to the need to achieve specific results." He explained that this concerned "joint initiatives oriented towards the formation of a common European security space." "The logic of forming a common European security space necessitates co-ordination of action in the sphere of security and defence," the Russian Foreign Ministry official spokesman believes. "It is for this reason that we aim at developing co-operation with the EU in the military-political sphere considering it a priority trend," the high-ranking diplomat said.
He added that "Moscow attentively follows the changes in the European policy course in security and defence and the progress of discussing in the EU Convent of ways to institutionalise the security component of European integration."
After WWII, the Soviet army left Austria, and the latter had always remained a neutral state and never joined NATO
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