WASHINGTON, June 17 (RIA Novosti) - Disagreements between Russia and NATO have led to a temporary suspention of a major antiterrorism project STANDEX, former Deputy Assistant Secretary General of NATO Michael Stopford told journalists.
"The Science for Peace and Security Programme is NATO’s largest civilian funding program which was set up to undertake projects with the purpose of working on new emerging security challenges. We define those challenges as cyber security, nuclear issues and, above all, terrorists. The highest profile project under that program that I was responsible for, called the STANDEX, to develop a stand-off detection of explosives and suicide bombers," Stopford said.
STANDEX suggested using the newest technologies, including microwave imaging infrared laser technologies, to detect explosives in public space, such as subways and stadiums that could be subject to terrorist attacks, and involved professionals from Poland, Germany, Italy and Russia. The program was the biggest program under the NATO-Russia Council, he said.
"This project was successfully tested a year ago in Paris metro, and next step was supposed to be St. Petersburg’s metro. And then we would move to phase two, from detection to prevention. This project is now frozen along with the rest NATO-Russia cooperation. The outcome of this decision is unfortunate," Stopford said.
NATO has been increasing the presence of its forces in the Eastern European countries close to the Russian borders lately as the Ukrainian crisis escalated, explaining the action with the need to protect its member states from possible invasion. The alliance has reconnaissance ships in the Black Sea, and has been holding military drills in the Baltic States.