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Russian diplomat says Moscow wants guarantees from NATO

June 28, 2016, 13:13 UTC+3

The Russian Foreign Ministry wishes to be sure that NATO will reckon with the interests of the Russian side

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VIENNA, June 28. /TASS/. Moscow wants guarantees from NATO that it will reckon with its interests, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov said on Tuesday.

"We need legally binding guarantees that NATO will reckon with the interests of the Russian side," he told journalists.

Russia, according to Meshkov, is "categorically against continuing relations with NATO in the format ‘business as usual’ as it used to imply the one who leads and the one who is being led, it implies imposing of one’s own agenda which is of interest for only one party." Moscow, in his words, is ready "to work only on an equality basis."

"Our proposals on European security put forth already by Dmitry Medvedev are on the negotiating table," he noted. "We are speaking about the establishment of a pan-European agreement, a legally binding document, which would take into account all necessary elements for a common European security system."

According to the Russian diplomat, though still in effect, the Russia-NATO founding act has been permanently undermined by the alliance. "We insist that NATO stop undermining its letter and spirit by its actions," Meshkov underscored.

According to Meshkov, a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) may take place in the foreseeable future, but the prospect depends on the results of the Alliance’s summit.

"I cannot exclude that another meeting of the Council will take place in the foreseeable future. It’s important to known which agenda it will have," he said.

According to Meshkov, it makes sense "to hold the meeting when the results of the Warsaw (NATO) summit and the decisions made at it become clear." "It’s of principal importance for us to understand. We’ll listen to our NATO colleagues: which agreements they reach in Warsaw, as this will impact the general European security, our relations", the Russian diplomat said.

"So far we only see the persistently escalating military presence along our borders", Meshkov said.

The next NATO summit will be held in Warsaw, Poland on July 8-9.

NATO had suspended all practical civilian and military cooperation under the NRC with Russia in April 2014 over the Ukrainian crisis. The NRC met on 20 April 2016, almost two years after its last meeting, to discuss the crisis in and around Ukraine; issues related to military activities, transparency and risk reduction, and to assess the security situation in Afghanistan.

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