Cybersecurity and missile defense are among the topics defense leaders from the 28-nation NATO alliance are addressing during their two-day meeting that wraps up Wednesday, according to a NATO press release.
Ahead of the Brussels gathering's kickoff on Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the war in Afghanistan -- while a major topic to be addressed -- will not overtake the agenda, as concerns about cyber and missile attacks persist. The ministerial is a precursor to a full-blown NATO summit in United Kingdom planned for next year.
Rasmussen, addressing reporters on Tuesday, highlighted the need for NATO members to collaborate in the cyber realm.
"We will discuss cyber defense, our constant efforts to protect our own networks, and how the alliance should address this growing threat through an enhanced cyber policy and cyber defense," he said, according to the Kuwait News Agency.
His announcement comes the same day the International Atomic Energy Agency said malware had contaminated some of its computers in Vienna.
Rasmussen further said he expects NATO members to discuss potential missile-defense cooperation with Russia during a NATO-Russia Council meeting on expanded cooperation planned for Wednesday.
“This is also a good opportunity to discuss areas where we have not reached agreement such as missile defense," he said. "NATO has invited Russia to cooperate in this field, and that offer stands."
NATO is building a missile shield that would augment and connect member states' antimissile systems. The Western military alliance expects the new system to fully protect European and NATO countries by 2018, according to Pravda.