Senior Russian diplomat highlights need to restore military contacts with NATO

TASS – The need to restore working contacts between Moscow and NATO is clear as never before, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said in an interview with TASS.

“Today, the need to restore working contacts on the military track, which were cut by NATO, is clear as never before. However, there has been no progress on the matter,” he pointed out.

According to Grushko, NATO failed to give a meaningful response to Russia’s initiatives aimed at improving the military security situation in Europe by moving military drills away from the line of contact between Russia and NATO and improving mechanisms designed to prevent military incidents and avoid misunderstandings.

When commenting on NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu’s statement that Russia had not responded to a proposal to hold a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, Grushko noted that such meetings “are held not when someone calls for it but when all member countries reach an agreement.” “There is no such agreement at the moment,” he said, adding: “There is no positive agenda for the Russia-NATO Council because NATO has suspended all cooperation with Russia. We believe that a Russia-NATO Council meeting should be called when there is a possibility of making a real contribution to efforts to improve the military security situation in Europe,” Grushko stressed.

The Russian deputy foreign minister said that NATO wanted the council to discuss the situation in Ukraine but it was pointless because NATO did not have a role in resolving the domestic conflict in Ukraine. He added that NATO countries regularly participated in debates on the issue within the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). “Besides, France and Germany are part of the Normandy Four group and they clearly keep their allies informed,” Grushko noted.

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