On the sidelines of the meeting of foreign ministers of the alliance in Brussels NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg instructed to make preparations for the revival of the NATO-Russia Council, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.
Steinmeier has repeatedly said that “the NATO-Russia dialogue should continue in times of trouble.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said that he has no information concerning any moves toward resuming the work of the NATO-Russia Сouncil. “I have not heard this statement, and I have no knowledge of any progress in this regard,” Peskov said.
The editor-in-chief of ‘National Defense’ magazine, Igor Korotchenko, told a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza that NATO’s decision is due to the changes of the geopolitical situation, which are not in favor of the Alliance. “Russia has launched a military operation in Syria, turning the tide in its favor in geopolitical terms and becoming a leader. Let’s not forget about the US decision to restore the direct contacts between the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces and the Russian General Staff,” the military expert said.
According to him, a number of issues, which require consultations on the Russia-NATO Council level, has been accumulated. “It is also a recognition that the Ukrainian crisis has no impact on relations between Russia and the West. On the whole, currently there are no obstacles to restore contacts,” Igor Korotchenko noted.
“To some extent, the Council can help in the conflict with Turkey, in any case, it can be another platform where we can raise the question of Ankara’s irresponsible behavior,” the editor-in-chief of ‘National Defense’ magazine concluded.
The President of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov, in his turn, stressed the timeliness and relevance of Stoltenberg’s initiative. “It’s actually a sensible decision because the Council is needed to discuss complex disputes, to prevent crises. Now the need for this is more than obvious due to the fact that the Russian-Turkish conflict brings us to the brink of a war situation with NATO,” he explained.
The expert noted that the resumption of the Council’s activities is significant as a sign that there is a “desire to avoid mutual military threat.”
NATO-Russia Council was established in 2002, the last meeting was held in June 2014. Since then, the dialogue between Russia and NATO has been frozen due to the conflict in Ukraine.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stressed that the restoration of the NATO-Russia Council is up to NATO, since Moscow did not close any channels for dialogue.