NATO to resume formal contacts with Russia

NATO and Russia are set to resume formal contacts following an eight-month freeze caused by last year's war between Russia and Georgia. Diplomats say ambassadors from Russia and NATO's 28 member nations will discuss a possible meeting of foreign ministers next month. The talks are being held under the framework of the NATO-Russia Council, a panel set up to improve relations between the former Cold War foes. Formal ties were suspended following the five-day Georgian war. NATO nations accused Moscow of using disproportionate force to eject Georgian forces that had occupied the capital of the breakaway province of South Ossetia. Still, relations have improved significantly since then. NATO and Russia have cooperated closely in areas such as the war in Afghanistan and anti-piracy patrols off Somalia.