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Russian defense minister: Meeting of Russia-NATO Council produced no optimism

April 27, 2016, 13:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW MOSCOW April, 27. /TASS

According to Sergey Shoigu, Russia’s cooperation with the NATO and EU countries remains frozen

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Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, April 27. /TASS/. The Russia-NATO Council’s meeting held on April 20 produced no reasons for optimism regarding the chances of lifting the freeze from military cooperation between Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told the 5th international security conference in Moscow on Wednesday.

"European Security matters will be discussed tomorrow. The situation in this field is deplorable. Russia’s cooperation with the NATO and EU countries remains frozen not through our fault. The April 20 meeting of the Russia-NATO Council produced no optimism," Shoigu said.

He said old weapons control patterns were no longer operational, while the existing mechanisms were being used by partners in an unseemly way and a new architecture of conventional weapons control would be hard to create in the context of the shortage of trust in Europe.

"Russia is a target of harsh and uncompromising information war. There’ve been allegations Moscow is a threat to the European states and should be deterred by military means. To excuse such actions the absurd allegation is repeated again and again that Russia has come close to ‘NATO’s doorstep.’ In a world, everything has been turned upside down," Shoigu said.

He recalled that the United States and NATO started deploying military infrastructures near Russian borders, pushing ahead with missile defense plans and building up military spending.

"Such actions force us into taking proportionate military and military-technical counter-measures. I would like to drive the message home - we are against an arms race," Shoigu said.

"We are not against restoring relations with NATO, but we can do that exclusively on the principles of reciprocity and respect for national interests and on the condition of equitable and indivisible security for all. We prefer to maintain contacts with the alliance at the negotiating table, and not through gun sights," Shoigu said.

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