Consultation platform of NATO allies, Russia to discuss European security, situation in Ukraine for 1st time since 2014
BRUSSELS (AA) – A meeting of the NATO-Russia Council began on Wednesday in Brussels to discuss European security, including the situation in and around Ukraine.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Twitter that the “meeting of the NATO-Russia Council is underway”, calling it a “critical moment for European security.”
“When tensions are high, it is even more important that we sit down around the same table and address our concerns,” he pointed out.
This is the first time that officials from NATO countries and Russia hold talk in this format since NATO suspended all practical cooperation with Moscow in 2014 because of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.
The meeting of the consultation platform is an important step towards normalizing NATO-Russia relations after last year’s tensions over spying allegations and Russia’s continued military buildup in and around Ukraine.
The partners are expected to discuss the two draft agreements on European security guarantees that Russia handed to the US and NATO last month.
Last week, Stoltenberg had said that after the extraordinary meeting of NATO foreign ministers, NATO will listen to Russia’s concerns but it will also share its own point of view on Russian actions, including the “unprovoked and unjustified” military buildup in and around Ukraine.
He said that NATO is interested in sincere dialogue with Russia, but maintained the military bloc’s stance on Ukraine.
US and Russian delegations discussed bilateral issues on Monday during their eight-hour talk in Geneva, but they did not make any progress on the Ukraine issue.