MOSCOW, December 4. /TASS/. A Russia-NATO Council meeting is highly unlikely to be convened soon, Russia’s Permanent Representative at NATO Alexander Grushko said on Friday.
"I don’t think any concrete steps on the part of NATO will follow soon," he told the Rossiya-24 television channel when asked about prospects for the resumption of dialogue within the Russia-NATO Council.
While speaking about the Russia-NATO Council, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg "was stressing that the Russia-NATO Council was not closed, that it was still existing, that NATO’s decisions on curtailing contacts and dialogue with Russia did not affect the Council as a mechanism," Grushko said, adding that many in the alliance were in favor of resuming the Council’s work "to ease the tension that emerged in relations with Russia as a result of NATO’s actions."
On December 2, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance had taken a decision to resume the work of the Russian-NATO Council. Commenting on this statement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow had never denied work in this format.
The Russia-NATO Council (NRC) was established at the NATO-Russia Summit in Rome on 28 May 2002 by the 2002 Rome Declaration on "NATO-Russia Relations: a New Quality", which builds on the goals and principles of the 1997 Founding Act. Its purpose is to serve as the principal structure and venue for advancing the relationship between NATO and Russia. The Council is a mechanism for consultation, consensus-building, cooperation, joint decision and joint action on a wide spectrum of security issues in the Euro-Atlantic region. The Council’s last meeting took place in June 2014. Currently, dialogue in this format has been practically froze over the conflict in Ukraine.