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Kremlin knows nothing about shifts towards resumption of Russia-NATO Council work

December 02, 2015, 13:10 UTC+3

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow never rejected work in the format of the Russia-NATO Council and is ready to work in that format

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MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. The Kremlin knows nothing about any shifts towards the resumption of Russia-NATO Council activities.

"I haven't heard that statement [by NATO’s secretary general, about convening a meeting of the council] and I know nothing about any shifts in that direction," presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media.

According to the spokesman, the Kremlin believes that the prospects for enactment of the article on NATO’s collective defense should be commented on by the Russian Defense Ministry.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow never rejected work in the format of the Russia-NATO Council.

"I’ve just learned that NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has suggested convening a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council," Lavrov said. "Russia has never refused to work in this format or any other formats."

Lavrov recalled that "after Mikhail Saakashvili’s aggression in South Ossetia the Russia-NATO Council was frozen at the United States’ initiative."

"Several months later NATO members said, though, that it had been a mistake and that the Russia-NATO Council must be meeting in any weather," Lavrov said. "Now, after the events in Ukraine and an engineered anti-constitutional armed coup there that brought nationalists to power our NATO counterparts felt offended once again and said the Russia-NATO mechanisms must be frozen again. The Russia-NATO Council was suspended, too."

"Once Mr. Stoltenberg has now been allowed to display such an initiative, we will get together and see what our NATO counterparts would like to tell us," Lavrov said. "We have very many questions to NATO, including those about the violations of the agreements that had existed within the Russia-NATO Council. There is a subject matter for discussion."

"It is essential to prevent a departure from the fundamental principle of our relations with NATO - the principle of equitable and indivisible security. No country in the Euro-Atlantic region should feel free to try to strengthen one’s own security by infringing the security of others," Lavrov said.

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