Stoltenberg says contacts with Moscow being held to convene Russia-NATO Council meeting

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BRUSSELS, June 7. /TASS/. NATO is currently holding contacts with Russia in order to convene the Russia-NATO Council at the ambassadorial level, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, speaking at the Atlantic Council Monday.

“We have a standing invitation for Russia to participate in a meeting, to convene the Russia-NATO Council again. So far, they have not answered,” Stoltenberg noted. “We are now in contact with Russia to convene the Russia-NATO Council,” he said.

Stoltenberg reiterated the list of NATO allegations against Russia. He claimed the existence of a “pattern of [Russia’s] aggressive actions,” which allegedly includes “interfering or meddling in the domestic political processes, in elections, [as well as] cyberattacks and different types of hybrid aggressive actions.”

Meanwhile, the Secretary General underscored that the alliance considers it necessary to maintain dialogue with Russia, in order to ensure the predictability of relations.

In 2014, after the reunification of Crimea and Russia, NATO cut almost all directions of cooperation with Moscow on its own initiative. The Russia-NATO Council meetings, which used to take place several times a month, started taking place several times a year, and, in 2020, no meeting took place at all.

Earlier on Monday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on her Telegram channel that Moscow is ready to discuss de-escalation and conflict prevention with the alliance, but noted that, without the involvement of military experts, this sort of dialogue would be meaningless. This was her response to Stoltenberg’s claim that Russia provided no response to the proposal to hold a Russian-NATO Council meeting.