Tag Archives: Alexandre Grushko

NATO-Russia Council step forward

Brussels 12.01.2022 The NATO-Russia Council, which brings together all 30 NATO Allies and Russia, met in Brussels on Wednesday (12 January 2022) to discuss the situation in and around Ukraine, and the implications for European security.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who chaired the meeting, said: “This was not an easy discussion, but that is exactly why it was so important.” He noted that NATO Allies are ready to meet again with Russia to discuss a number of topics in greater detail and to put concrete proposals on the table. “There are opportunities for constructive engagement which should not be missed, in the interest of security in Europe,” he said.

“We had a frank and open discussion on a wide range of issues, of course, focusing on the tensions, the difficulties in and around Ukraine. And Allies also of course again expressed a deep concern about the continued Russian military build-up along the borders of Ukraine. And combined with threatening rhetoric from the Russian side, and a Russian track record of willingness to use force against neighbours, of course, Allies are concerned. And we are clear-eyed about the challenges we face when we now sit down with Russia and try to find a political way forward. But the meeting was useful. And I think that, especially when tensions are high, it is even more important that we meet, and that all Allies and Russia meet and sit around the same table and address the issues that are of concern.

“On membership and the NATO’s open door all Allies are united on the core principle that each and every nation has the right to choose his own path. This is enshrined in a lot of fundamental documents, many different documents, which are the foundation for European security. And, therefore, also Allies totally agree that it is only Ukraine and 30 Allies that can decide when Ukraine is ready to become a NATO member. No one else has anything to say and of course Russia doesn’t have a veto on whether Ukraine can become a NATO member. Allies are ready to support Ukraine on this path towards membership, helping to implement reforms, modernise the armed forces to meet NATO standards. And then, at the end of the day, it has to be NATO Allies and Ukraine that decides on membership”.

The council meeting marked the second stage in a series of talks between Russia and the West on Russia’s proposals for European security. The first stage was the talks between Russia and the US that took place in Geneva on January 10, and the third stage will happen as an OSCE meeting in Vienna on January 13.

The Russian delegation in Brussels is led by Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko and Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin. NATO is represented by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, and representatives of 30 NATO member states in Brussels.

The negotiations between Moscow and Washington dedicated to Russia’s proposed security guarantees concluded on January 10 in Geneva. On January 12, Russia-NATO discussed the security issue in Europe, as well as Russian drafts on security assurances at a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels, and on January 13 at the Vienna session of the OSCE Permanent Council.

On December 17, 2021, the Russian Foreign Ministry published the draft agreements between Russia and the US on security guarantees and the measures of ensuring the security of Russia and NATO member states.

NATO-Russia Council – increase of transparency

During the meeting of NATO foreign ministers Secretary General @JensStoltenberg noted that Allies and Russia had a substantial meeting on topics of common concern in the framework of the NATO-Russia Council (30.03.2017), including the situation in and around Ukraine, the security situation in Afghanistan and risk reduction and transparency.

“When tensions run high, it is even more important to keep talking with each other,” – said Stoltenberg.  He expressed his content with the unfolding ‘dual-track’ approach to relations with Russia, increasing transparency, and engaging into in-depth discussion of ‘difficult issues,’ and ‘disagreements’. It was the fourth meeting of the Council after the period of halt over the Crimea sanctions, and the first on in 2017.

The evaluation of the Russian representative to NATO Alexandre #Grushko was less optimistic:

“I do not want to downplay the importance of such mutual information, but it is clear that the exchange of briefings is not enough to qualitatively change the security situation for the better, – ambassador Grushko said. – Dialogue for the sake of dialogue will not yield results unless the discussions are translated into concrete actions and decisions.”

“In order to create an appropriate context for joint work on restoring arms control mechanisms, it is necessary that NATO halts the process of pumping the “Eastern flank” with “iron,” leading to the undermining of regional stability.”, – Russian ambassador to NATO concluded.

There were no formal conclusions after the NATO-Russia Council sitting.

NATO-Russia Council to resume its work

“Following consultations with the members of the NATO-Russia Council, I have invited them to a meeting at ambassadorial level,” says the announcement of the NATO headquarters in Brussels.

 

The meeting will take place on 30 March at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Russian ambassador to Alliance HE Alexandre #Grushko (pictured) confirmed the information in his Twitter account, welcoming  the Council’s coming back to its “reconstruction,” and “working rhythm”.