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NATO shooting itself in foot by freezing dialogue with Russia - Russian NATO envoy

February 09, 0:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Alexander Grushko said that the alliance "should change its policy as it is impossible to maintain a dialogue when your country is seen as a threat to security, which is to be contained."
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Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko

Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko

© ITAR-TASS / Valery Sharifulin

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. NATO is shooting itself in the foot by pursuing a confrontational policy towards Russia, Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko said on Monday.

"As a matter of fact, NATO has shot itself in the foot when it cut practical cooperation in the zones of common interest," he said. "And we see it now watching migration waves swamping Europe and the developments in the Middle East and North Africa."

He said NATO’s halting the project on joint training drug police for Afghanistan "endangers not only public security in Russia but also directly impacts Europe’s security."

Speaking about the prospects for the resumption of the Russian-NATO dialogue, the Russian diplomat stressed that the alliance "should change its policy as it is impossible to maintain a dialogue when your country is seen as a threat to security, which is to be contained."

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 frozen over the conflict in Ukraine.

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.

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