09 February, 2008
Greek Defense Minister Evangelos Meimarakis on Friday addressed a two-day informal meeting of NATO defence ministers that began in Vilnius, Lithuania on Thursday, alongside an informal meeting of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC). The issues discussed at the meeting included policy on cyber defence, the NATO Response Force, missile defence and new security challenges, such as maritime situational awareness.
Meimarakis stressed the high value of the NATO Response Force (NRF) for upgrading the capabilities of the Alliance and recognised the political and operational importance of the NRF for maintaining full operational capacity and the ability to take on an entire range of missions.
During his address at the NRC, meanwhile, the Greek minister noted the need to further develop cooperation between the two sides so that it would act as a tool for establishing regional security and stability and in dealing with a series of practical issues, such as counter terrorism, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, military cooperation, joint activities and counter narcotics action.
"Russia is an important partner of strategic importance for NATO and security in the Euro-Atlantic region and beyond," Meimarakis said.
The Greek minister later departed for Munich in Germany, where he will take part in the 44th Munich Conference on Security Policy that begins on Saturday and ends on Sunday.
Source: Athens News Agency