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NATO harms itself by suspending practical cooperation with Russia — envoy

May 15, 2015, 15:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that the alliance kept open its channels for political contacts with Russia but practical cooperation remained suspended
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NATO alert exercise (archive)

NATO alert exercise (archive)

© EPA/FILIP SINGER

MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS/. The North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) hurt itself by turning away from practical cooperation with Russia, thus "shooting itself in a leg," Alexander Grushko, Russia’s NATO envoy, said on Friday.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that the alliance kept open its channels for political contacts with Russia but practical cooperation remained suspended.

"This was not a political statement but the statement of the fact," Grushko said. "As of now, we do not see any NATO’s desire for searching the ways of practical cooperation. In this regard the alliance shot itself in a leg."

The official said Russia keeps up a political dialogue with the US-led military alliance by "holding meetings at a level of ambassadors."

"However, such format cannot be considered satisfactory as the political motivation may be fading without the practical cooperation," Grushko added.

Following a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Antalya, Turkey, on Thursday Stoltenberg told a news conference: "What NATO decided last spring was to suspend all practical cooperation with Russia."

"We also then decided to keep channels for political contact open," NATO chief said. "Our position remains unchanged - practical cooperation with Russia is suspended.".

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