The Russian Foreign Ministry has unexpectedly spoken out in favor of a reset with NATO, The Moscow Times reports.
According to Interfax a representative of the Ministry said it denied seeing the NATO alliance as an anachronism, and expressed a desire to restore relations with the military bloc.
Want to normalize the relationship
- We need to build normal relations with NATO and renew what we had before, Andrei Kelin, the Foreign Ministry’s head of the Department of European Cooperation, told the privately-held independent news agency.
Kelin’s comments come as surprising backtracking of an otherwise confrontational official position on the Western military alliance, the Moscow Times reports.
Over the past couple of years Moscow has regularly called out NATO for taking supposedly aggressive actions toward Russia.
NATO, which consists of 28 member countries, suspended all practical cooperation with Russia in 2014 after the Ukranian territory of Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation.
Russia and NATO “reopened” the lines of communication in April last year, holding an official meeting of the NATO-Russia council in Brussels.
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Failed to bridge the gaps
The meeting took place behind closed doors, but speaking after the meeting, Russia’s ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko, said there was “no positive agenda” under discussion with NATO.
Both sides said there could be future meetings under the council format, but neither side could say when such a meeting would take place.
- NATO and Russia have profound and persistent disagreements. Today’s meeting did not change that, Stoltenberg said in his doorstep statement, following the NATO-Russia Council meeting.