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Klintsevich: the fact that Russia-NATO Council met in Brussels is positive

April 21, 6:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW
NATO Secretary-General had known in advance that a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council held in Brussels on Wednesday was unlikely to produce any agreements, Klintsevich said
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 Frants Klintsevich

Frants Klintsevich

© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS, archive

MOSCOW, April 20 /TASS/. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg had known in advance that a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council held in Brussels on Wednesday was unlikely to produce any agreements, Frants Klintsevich, the vice-chairman of the Russian Federation Council Committee for Defense and Security, told journalists on Wednesday.

He said the fact that the Russia-NATO Council had met in Brussels for the first time in almost 2 years could only be described as positive despite the fact that the sides had stuck to their old views. But that, according to Klintsevich, was predictable.

"What’s surprising is that NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg focused on profound differences between NATO and Russia both when he announced the meeting and summed up its results," the Russian lawmaker said adding that was not the right behavior for someone who intends to reach at least some agreements.

"The impression is that while pedaling on differences, NATO secretary-general offered excuses to someone just in case and was deadly afraid of being understood in the wrong way," Klintsevich concluded.

The Russian-NATO Council met in Brussels for the first time in almost 2 years. It was attended by the heads of missions of all the 28 NATO member states. Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko represented Russia. The meeting lasted two hours longer than planned because of a "sincere and serious discussion", if Stoltenberg’s words are used. The NATO secretary-general noted that the sides held different approaches and that the Wednesday discussion had failed to remove the profound differences among them. Nevertheless, he believed that Russia and NATO would continue meeting in the format of the Russia-NATO Council.

"Russia is not against holding a new Russia-NATO Council meeting but only when the sides have some real agenda," Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko said.

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