After a long break in Brussels, seat of the Council NATO-Russia. The main themes of it are: Ukraine, the loss of flight MH-17 case Skipala and reduction of risks of a military confrontation. Details from DW.In Brussels on Thursday, 31 may, took place the meeting of the NATO Council-Russia. Although the Alliance in 2014 froze practical cooperation with Russia, it has consistently emphasized the need to continue the dialogue. “The channels for political dialogue open, and the Council Russia-NATO is an important forum. NATO and Russia also kept open lines of communication between military,” – said the headquarters of the Alliance following the meeting. NATO believe that this dialogue makes the relationship more predictable and contributes to mutual security.
The previous meeting of Council held at the end of October 2017. NATO has for some time talked about his desire to hold a new meeting. The absence of the permanent representative of Russia for NATO interference was not. We will remind, after Alexander Grushko has completed work in Brussels, Moscow is in no hurry to send him a replacement. On the Council of the Russian Federation was represented by the acting permanent representative Yuri Gorlach.
Deputy Secretary General of NATO rose Gottemoeller has not confirmed nor denied in an interview with DW that the Alliance was important to bring the meeting before the summit, scheduled for July 11-12. The Council is part of the so-called “twin-track” approach, NATO conducts a dialogue with Russia, but at the same time increases its defense and deterrence, Gottemoeller said, emphasizing that dialogue must be “periodic substantive and meaningful”.
Following the meeting, neither NATO nor its members, nor Russia briefings are not conducted, limited to written communications.
The first topic – Ukraine
The first item on the agenda was the discussion of Ukraine. “The NATO Council-Russia has conducted an open exchange on several topics, including the situation in and around Ukraine”, – reported in the Alliance following the meeting. But in the message of the permanent mission of Russia to NATO Ukraine is not even mentioned. This situation has become normal: the Alliance at every meeting of the Council the first question discusses Ukraine and Russia makes it clear that this topic is not important. After the last Council meeting, the then permanent representative of Russia Grushko told DW that the discussion of Ukraine was “compressed” as “neither NATO nor the Council NATO-Russia any role in resolving the domestic Ukrainian crisis is not playing and is not intended to play”.
The countries of the Alliance reaffirmed their support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine, told DW NATO diplomat. They also expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in the East of Ukraine, in particular, a sharp increase in the number of civilian casualties and constraints on access for OSCE observers. “NATO member States condemned the construction and partial opening of Russia to the bridge across the Kerch Strait, which represents another violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”, – said the interlocutor of the edition.
The head of mission of Ukraine to NATO Vadim pristayko DW reported that two days before the meeting of the Council met the Commission NATO-Ukraine. The sequence he called “the traditional form of work”, when the Ukrainian side proposes his view of the issues that NATO plans to discuss with Russia. “Believe me, the dialogue and the issues that are important for Ukraine, NATO has consistently raised before Russia and demanding answers,” – said Pristayko.
A second important topic that was discussed at the meeting was the reduction of risks in the activities of the armed forces. This was reported by NATO and the Russian side. “The members of the Council NATO-Russia gave his assessment of the factors influencing the situation in the sphere of military security in the Euro-Atlantic area, discussed ways to reduce current tensions and to prevent dangerous incidents,” – said in the message of the permanent mission of the Russian Federation. Both sides also stated that the briefed about your upcoming exercises.
One of the diplomats, NATO told DW that the Alliance raised two more questions. The first – liner “Malaysian airlines” was shot down in 2014. Last week the international investigation team said that anti-aircraft missile launcher “Buk” that hit him belonged to the armed forces of the Russian Federation. The second issue is the case of Sergei Skripal, a former double agent in the poisoning which Britain accuses Russia. Moscow denies any involvement. In General, the source DW praised the atmosphere of the meeting.
We will remind, in the spring of 2014, in response to the annexation of Crimea by Russia and its actions in the Donbas region, the Alliance has suspended practical cooperation with Moscow. The NATO Council-Russia resumed its work only two years later. In the spring of 2016 have already completed seven of its meetings. No decisions at this meeting and did not plan to take. The purpose of this platform in the other – the ability to discuss problems in relations between NATO and Russia through a direct dialogue. However, not all NATO countries see the point of holding a meeting of the Council. Earlier, foreign Minister of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius said that this channel of communication does not stop Russia if it “decides to continue the escalation of the situation”.