G. Stoltenberg: NATO-Russia Council to convene on January 12

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The NATO-Russia Council may meet in January for the first time in two and a half years, diplomatic sources said on Saturday, but Moscow has not yet made a commitment.

An official from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization confirmed that its Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, had decided to convene the council on January 12 and that the alliance was in contact with Moscow on the issue.

The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that it had received the proposal, but added that it was still being considered, with the order and date of the talks pending finalization.

However, “we are open to dialogue,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency TASS.

The concentration of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine has been a matter of “concern” in the West for weeks. For its part, Russia is demanding “security guarantees” from Western countries, including a firm guarantee that Ukraine will not join NATO.

The Agency rejects this request; however, Mr Stoltenberg has repeatedly stated his intention to discuss all issues on which there are differences in the NATO-Russia Council.

This group last met in July 2019. Since then, all attempts to set a date for new talks have proved fruitless.

One of the reasons is that Russia does not want to discuss the armed conflict in Ukraine in the council, setting a condition that especially NATO member states in Eastern Europe do not even want to hear.

Source: AMPE

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Source From: Capital

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