NATO will meet on January 12, perhaps with Russia

(Brussels) A NATO official in Brussels said on Sunday that NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg had decided to hold a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on January 12 and that he was “in contact” with Moscow on the matter.

In recent months, Mr. Stoltenberg has offered Moscow on several occasions the resumption of dialogue within this cooperation body created in 2002, which is currently frozen due to the conflict in Ukraine.

But the Russian authorities did not respond.

For this Jan. 12 meeting, the NATO official simply referred to “we are in contact with Russia” on the condition of anonymity.

Over the past seven years, NATO has consistently denounced Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea in March 2014 and demanded respect for Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty.

Russia and the Western camp accuse each other of provocations by boosting military capabilities on their common border.

In mid-December, Russia submitted two treaties, one to the United States and one to NATO, summarizing its demands for de-escalation.

These texts prohibit the expansion of NATO to include Ukraine in particular, and limit Western military cooperation in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, without imposing similar measures on Russia.

The January 12 meeting is the first proposed by Jens Stoltenberg since the Russian demands were announced.

Also scheduled for that day is a meeting of the NATO Military Committee, which will include the Chiefs of Staff of the 30 member states.

Last Thursday, Jens Stoltenberg reiterated his support for Ukraine and his determination to protect all NATO allies from Russia’s actions, while saying he was always open to dialogue with the country led by Vladimir Putin.

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