NATO-Russia substantial meeting on topics of common concern: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
Mar 31, Kiev: NATO after a briefing yesterday said that its allies and Russia remain at loggerheads over the conflict in Ukraine but have exchanged briefings on their troop movements elsewhere in Europe to help ease the tensions.
NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg remarks came after ambassadors from the military alliance’s 29 nations met Thursday for the first time this year. He also gave a read-out of discussions in the NATO-Russia Council. "Then some words about the NATO-Russia Council which I just chaired. It was a long meeting, it was a frank meeting and the meeting was constructive. This is the first meeting of the NATO-Russia Council this year. Allies and Russia continue to have clear disagreements on the crisis in and around Ukraine. This was the first topic we addressed and the security situation remains of deep concern. Ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine have reached record levels, intense fighting continues and heavy weapons have not been withdrawn," he said.
The Secretary General noted that Allies and Russia had a substantial meeting on topics of common concern, 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,” he added.
Similarly, Russia briefed the ambassadors about new troop deployments near its western border, while NATO gave an update on forces being deployed to the Baltic states and Poland.
On Friday, the ministers will address topics including defence spending and the fight against terrorism, and pave the way for the Brussels meeting of NATO leaders on 25 May.
The Oslo Times International News Network