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Russia to respond constructively to proposals on resuming cooperation with NATO — FM

May 07, 2015, 19:59 UTC+3 VOLGOGRAD
According to Lavrov, it was not Russia that initiated the severance of relations in the sphere of military coordination
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier

© Dmitry Rogulin/TASS

VOLGOGRAD, May 7. /TASS/. Russia is receiving signals from NATO on possible resumption of cooperation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after a meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday.

"We’re receiving signals from NATO partners that it would be nice to resume cooperation," the Russian foreign minister said, commenting on Brussels’ decision to resume the work of the NATO-Russia direct communication link.

"If we receive such a proposal, we’ll respond to it constructively," Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister said Moscow "has heard the information that our NATO colleagues have resumed the work of telephone lines, confirmed their numbers."

It was not Russia that initiated the severance of relations in the sphere of military coordination, Lavrov said.

"This initiative belonged to NATO," he said.

Moscow-NATO communication line resumption meets parties’ interests

Steinmeier noted that resumption of the Moscow-NATO direct communication link will be beneficial for both sides amid the continued crisis in Ukraine.

"I myself made efforts to this end at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers last year," Steinmeier said in reply to a question by TASS news agency.

"There were, of course, voices against restarting the hotline, saying this was a concession. To my mind, this is a wrong position," the German foreign minister said.

The resumption of the Moscow-NATO direct communication link meets the interests of both sides, Steinmeier said.

"Considering that the conflict is continuing, such a contact is absolutely necessary because otherwise some actions might be interpreted wrongly," he said.

Since the start of the Ukraine crisis, NATO and Moscow have stepped up efforts for holding their military drills, he said.

"That is why, the hotline is important so that the sides can get information on such activity," the German foreign minister said.

"I’m very glad that now we’re resuming this exchange of military information," Steinmeier said.

Russia pinning big hopes on Merkel's visit to Moscow on May 10

Lavrov said Russia is pinning big hopes on the talks that President Vladimir Putin and Germany's Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to have during her visit to Moscow on May 10.

"The situation in Europe is far from quiet now and this scenario not at all encouraging," he said.

"In the light of it, we attach special significance to a buildup of dialogue between Moscow and Berlin," Lavrov said.

"We feel very hopeful for the talks that will be held during Merkel's visit to Moscow on May 10," he said.

"Germany is our crucial partner in European and international affairs and we are set to consolidate collaboration and to facilitate the joint efforts that lead up to the rise of a new European architecture on the basis of equality and mutual respect, which arise from the principle of indivisible security and broad partnership in all areas, be it the economy or the humanitarian sphere," Lavrov said.

"We’re confident that earnest will and readiness to work together as well as the reckoning of each other’s interests make all these plans fully implementable," he said.

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