By Kamila Aliyeva
NATO would like to expand the practice of holding mutual briefings on military exercises and discuss hybrid threats with Russia, alliance's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
Mutual briefings on exercises are important, they allow achieving greater transparency and predictability, he explained.
“Against the background of increased military activity along our borders, it is extremely important to avoid incidents and accidents and, if they occur, it is necessary not to let the situation get out of control,” Stoltenberg noted.
The official added that NATO would like to intensify the mutual briefings on the exercises.
“We will also look at other areas, such as the issues of (conducting) a hybrid war and others that can be raised within the framework of NATO-Russia Council (NRC) and political dialogue with Russia,” he said.
The foreign ministers of the NATO countries decided that the defense and dialogue policy with Russia agreed upon by the alliance is effective, according to Stoltenberg.
“We are strengthening collective defense, while remaining open to dialogue. We have maintained economic sanctions and use military lines of communication,” he said, commenting on the outcome of the discussion of relations with Russia.
The ministers “agreed to continue strengthening deterrence and defense as they prepare for the summit next July, continue to conduct a conscientious dialogue and support partners in Eastern Europe.”
Since the spring of 2016, six meetings of the NRC have taken place at the level of the permanent representatives. The last meeting of the NRC was held at NATO Headquarters on October 26, 2017.
Among other things, it discussed the situation in Afghanistan, military exercises, including the Russian-Belarusian exercises “West-2017” and the situation in Ukraine.
In 2014, NATO decided to suspend practical cooperation with Russia, while maintaining a political dialogue at the level of ambassadors and above.
Russia has repeatedly stated that it was not Moscow that suspended agreements with NATO and that's why the alliance should take steps to reanimate the interaction.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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