Tag Archives: NATO-Russia Council

NATO-Russia “fundamentally different”

The NATO-Russia Council, which brings together all 29 NATO Allies and Russia, met in Brussels on Friday July 5 to discuss Ukraine, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), and transparency and risk reduction. This was the second meeting of the NATO-Russia Council this year. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who chaired the meeting, said: “Our discussion was frank but necessary. Allies and Russia hold fundamentally different views but we are committed to continuing our dialogue.”

Outcome of the Council meeting: It is the choice and decision of the American side, which has refused the concrete and realistic measures of mutual transparency that we had proposed to alleviate concerns that have piled up” Russian mission to NATO wrote in Twitter micro blog after the meeting. The detailed comments have been published on the Facebook page of the mission:

The NRC meeting on July 5 focused on the security situation in Europe in the context of US announced withdrawal from the INF Treaty on August 2. The Russian Side indicated that attempts to shift the blame on Russia for the demise of the INF were unjustified. It is the choice and decision of the American side, which has refused the concrete and realistic measures of mutual transparency that we had proposed to alleviate concerns that have piled up. We drew the attention to real risks of further aggravating military and political situation in Europe. The Russian Side noted the need to exercise restraint. We confirmed that in our planning of the steps to ensure the interests of Russia’s military security in the context of the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty we are not intended to deploy corresponding missile systems in Europe and other regions unless the US intermediate- and shorter-range missiles are deployed there. We called on NATO countries to make the same statement”.

NATO-Russia Council resumed dialogue

“The NATO Russia Council had an open exchange on several topics, including the situation in and around Ukraine, issues related to military activities, transparency and risk reduction, as well as asymmetric techniques as aspects of doctrine and strategy. NATO and Russia both briefed on major upcoming exercises” – Oana Lungescu, NATO spokesperson tweeted a short compte-rendu.

“NATO’s approach to Russia is consistent. Practical cooperation was suspended in 2014 due to Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine. At the same time, channels for political dialogue are open and the NATO-Russia Council is an important forum. NATO and Russia also maintain open military-to-military lines of communication. NATO Allies welcomed the April meeting in Baku between the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Scaparrotti, and the Russian Chief of the General Staff, General Gerasimov. The dialogue between NATO and Russia contributes to more predictable relations and enhanced mutual security” Lungescu continued.

Russian Representation was also very laconic, and published the following comment on the Facebook page:

“…The members of the NRC presented their assessments of the factors affecting the situation in the field of military security in the Euro-Atlantic region, discussed the ways to reduce current tensions and prevent dangerous incidents.

In order to increase the predictability of military activities in accordance with established practice, the sides exchanged briefings on the upcoming significant exercises of the armed forces of NATO members states and Russia this year”.

At present, as the site of Russian Representation at NATO confirms, the Ambassador’s job is “vacant” (pictured in a grey box). The Mission is lead by high-ranked diplomat Yuri Andreevich Gorlach.

Russians at NATO

Previous NATO-Russia Council on the level of Ambassadors took place on 26th October 2017, with the situation in Afghanistan, as the central theme, the other issues discussed were military training exercises, and the conflict in Ukraine.

There were no press-conferences, or other exchanges with press foreseen to comment on the outcome of the meeting.

 

Stoltenberg on 'essential' dialog with Russia

“Dialogue can be difficult, but it is also essential and in times of raised tensions, such as now, it is particularly important to keep channels of communication open. At today’s meeting, we had a frank and useful discussion on three key issues: Ukraine, Afghanistan, and transparency and risk reduction. In the case of Ukraine, NATO Allies and Russia continue to have fundamental disagreements. The Crimean issue and the conflict in Eastern Ukraine remain clear points of contention, and heavy weapons have not been withdrawn from the conflict zone. The Minsk Agreements provide the best chance of a solution to the conflict, but they need to be implemented, and the work of the OSCE monitors need to be allowed to proceed unimpeded.”

“At today’s meeting, we also discussed the security situation in Afghanistan, which remains challenging. A stable Afghanistan is essential to regional security. NATO Allies and Russia share a common interest to support the National Unity government and to work towards a free, safe and democratic Afghanistan.”

“The third and final topic we discussed was transparency and risk reduction. At previous meetings of the NATO-Russia Council we have given reciprocal briefings on exercises and force posture. Such exchanges are important elements of our continuing dialogue. They help to limit the risk of misunderstanding, miscalculation and unintended escalation. This is why it was significant that at today’s meeting, we exchanged advance briefings on upcoming exercises. Russia briefed on the upcoming ZAPAD 2017 exercise, and NATO briefed on Exercise Trident Javelin 2017. I am encouraged by this progress.  It is a dialogue that can continue at future meetings of this Council.”

“At the same time, these voluntary exchanges do not substitute for the mandatory transparency required under the Vienna Document.”

“So, today’s meeting covered a range of different topics. Our discussion was frank and constructive. Allies and Russia may hold different views but we are committed to continuing our dialogue as part of our commitment to preserving peace and security.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg remaks following the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council

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.