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NATO-Russia Council meeting to focus on NATO military build-up in east — diplomat

July 12, 10:29 UTC+3
The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said that the discussion will also focus on the Ukrainian crisis settlement, the situation in Afghanistan and the regional terrorist threats
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© EPA/VALDA KALNINA,

MOSCOW, July 12. /TASS/. The main issue on the agenda of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) meeting due on July 13 will be the decisions of the Alliance’s Warsaw summit on the NATO military build-up "on the eastern flank," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.

"The central theme at the meeting will be the decisions of the Alliance’s July 8-9 summit in Warsaw on the further NATO military build-up on the "eastern flank" of the Alliance and their impact on European security," she said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman added that the discussion will also focus on the Ukrainian crisis settlement, the situation in Afghanistan and the regional terrorist threats.

"During the consideration of other issues related to military activity, the Russian side intends to initiate the discussion on the initiative put forward by our Finnish partners, the so-called ‘Niinisto plan’ on strengthening aviation security in the Baltic Sea region, to highlight the risks to strategic stability emerging as a result of the currently being created US/NATO missile defense system in Europe," Zakharova added.

NATO froze all practical cooperation with the Russian Federation in April 2014 - after Crimea’s reunification with Russia. The operation of the NATO-Russia Council was preserved to maintain political dialogue channels open. The current meeting of the Council will become the third after the cooperation freeze. The Council’s first meeting was held June 2, 2014, its second on April 20, 2016.

Contacts between Russia and NATO continued in other formats too. On June 17, 2014, NATO’s Headquarters in Brussels held a Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) meeting at the level of permanent representatives; on May 19, 2015, the Belgian capital hosted a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the NATO secretary-general. Later Lavrov and Stoltenberg met twice - on September 29, 2015 in New York and on February 12, 2016 in Munich.

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