NATO, Russia Divided Over Libya, Missile Defense at Sochi Talks

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Context

NATO and Russia on Monday admitted they were still divided over Libya and missile defense during their bilateral meeting in the Russian resort city of Sochi. Moscow has long opposed the setting up of NATO missile defense system close to its borders, describing it as a threat to national security. During Monday’s talks, NATO Chief General Fogh Rasmussen said that the alliance hopes to reach an agreement with the Russians on the issue within a year.

Speaking of the differences between the two sides over the Libyan campaign, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow still believes “there is no alternative for peaceful settlement.” In response, Rasmussen said that NATO understands Russia’s concerns and promised there wouldn’t be any ground operations in Libya, insisting the coalition has “successfully prevented the mass killings of the Libyan people.”