NATO ‘direct threat’ to Russia, says Putin

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin lashed out at NATO plans to continue its eastward expansion, saying Russia would see the induction of Ukraine and Georgia as an “immediate threat” to its security and react accordingly.

“The presence of a powerful military bloc on our borders, whose members are guided by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty will be seen as direct threat to our national security,” Mr. Putin said at a news conference after the NATO-Russia Council meeting on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Bucharest. It was Mr. Putin’s farewell interaction with the Western leaders. He steps down on May 7, when new President Dmitry Medvedev takes the oath.

NATO leaders refrained from granting a Membership Action Plan to Ukraine and Georgia on Thursday, but promised to do it later, insisting that the NATO doors were open for the two post-Soviet republics.

Warning that Russia would react strongly to the move, Mr. Putin said: “Let us be honest with each other – we will treat you as you treat us.”

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Europe poised to bolster Web shield

A NATO cyberdefense center is to be housed in this former military barracks in Tallinn, Estonia.
(Foreign Ministry of Estonia)

PARIS: Nearly a year after Estonia weathered an onslaught of cyberattacks, its name has become a rallying cry for countries pressing to streangthen global cooperation between governments and private Internet service providers to combat computer crime. But some privacy advocates and computer experts remain wary of such efforts.

On Tuesday, the Council of Europe plans to introduce guidelines to aid computer crime investigators, building on a cybercrime treaty that has been signed by 43 nations, including the United States. A controversial proposal would require service providers to give the authorities a list of the types of information that they could offer.

On Wednesday, NATO will present a strategy for countering computer attacks at a meeting for heads of state in Bucharest, with a proposal to create a central cyberdefense authority.

“The attacks on Estonia – directed at services on which Estonian citizens rely – could happen anywhere,” said James Appathurai, a NATO spokesman. “The only way to defend against them is through multinational, multilateral cooperation.”

That kind of military talk concerns privacy advocates and computer experts, who fear that private companies will be pressed into service to police users as part of these strategies.

“One of the great consequences of all of this is that an agenda is created for a society that is under surveillance,” said Peter Sommers, a senior research fellow at the London School of Economics and author of “The Hacker’s Handbook,” written under the pseudonym Hugo Cornwall. “And in the panic, we lose the quality of control.”

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Bombers fly close to US border

 strategic-bomber.jpg

Moscow – Russian bombers accompanied by Nato fighter jets have completed a patrol off the north west coast of the United States, the Russian air force said on Wednesday, Interfax reported.

“NATO fighter jets accompanied the planes of long range aviation in the area of Alaska during the air patrol,” Alexander Drobyshevsky, assistant to the head of the Russian air force, was quoted as saying.

Two long range-bombers and two Il-78 flight refuelling tankers took part in the 15-hour patrol over the Arctic and Pacific oceans, he said. Drobyshevsky did not say when the patrol took place.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in August 2007 that Moscow was resuming with immediate effect the Cold War practice of sending strategic bombers on long-range flights well beyond its borders.

Source: AFP

Published on the Web by IOL on 2008-03-26 10:26:05

Russia’s NATO envoy: US military “arming ex-terrorists” in Kosovo

Moscow/Brussels (dpa) – Russia’s firebrand envoy to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said Thursday that US military aid to Kosovo amounted to arming “former terrorists.”Responding to news of US President George W Bush approval of military aid to Kosovo, Russia’s ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin warned that such a move could lead to “new terrorist clashes in the Balkans.”

“To give former terrorists weapons for the war against terrorism appears at least amusing if not worse,” the Interfax news agency quoted Rogozin as saying from Brussels.

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