The NATO-Russia Council came at a crucial time for security in Europe. This was announced by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after around four hours of consultation with representatives of Russia at NATO headquarters in Brussels. It was the first time since July 2019 that both sides held talks in this format.
Following the meeting, Stoltenberg stressed that NATO is keen to re-establish its mission in Moscow and the diplomatic presence of Russia at NATO headquarters in Brussels. It also said:
“We regret that Russia has closed its diplomatic mission to NATO and the NATO office in Moscow. We have made it clear that we want to restore both the Russian mission to NATO and the NATO office in Moscow because we have to believe a dialogue. “
According to the NATO Secretary General, there is also a fundamental willingness on the Russian side to continue the dialogue and to sound out a schedule for further meetings:
“It is a positive sign that all NATO allies and Russia were sitting at the same table and having addressed substantial issues.”
The discussion was not easy, but that is precisely why the meeting was so important, explained Stoltenberg. He also noted that there remained “significant disagreements” between NATO and Russia over Ukraine. According to the Secretary General, these would not be easy to overcome.
According to Stoltenberg, the alleged deployment of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine and Moscow’s demands for new security guarantees from NATO were discussed in detail. Specifically, Moscow is calling, among other things, for NATO to renounce any further expansion to the east and for armed forces to be withdrawn from eastern allies. After the meeting, Stoltenberg said the Allies had reaffirmed NATO’s “open door policy”. Every state has the right to decide for itself about its security structures.
The meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels was the second phase of consultations between Russia and the Allies on Moscow’s proposals for improving the security situation in Europe. The first phase, talks between Russia and the US, was held in Geneva on January 10th. The third phase of the OSCE is to take place in Vienna today.
more on the subject – Russian Foreign Ministry: No reason to fear an escalation scenario in Ukraine
(rt / dpa)