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Stoltenberg says Russia, NATO ready to continue dialogue despite remaining differences

December 19, 2016, 17:57 UTC+3
"Without talking, we cannot solve our differences and improve mutual understanding," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said
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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

© AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

BRUSSELS, December 19. /TASS/. NATO and Russia are ready to continue dialogue despite the remaining differences, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday after an ambassadorial Russia-NATO Council meeting.

"Allies and Russia hold different views. And our meeting does not indicate a return to business as usual," he said. "But without talking, we cannot solve our differences and improve mutual understanding."

Military drills

Russia and NATO informed each other on the recent drills, Russia’s Kavkaz-2016 and NATO’s Trident Juncture-2016, as part of efforts towards bigger transparency on military exercises, Stoltenberg said.

"Russia also gave us a briefing on the recent KAVKAZ-2016 exercise. And NATO gave a presentation on Exercise Trident Juncture 2016," he said.

"Transparency on military exercises is essential. In the OSCE, 57 nations - including all NATO Allies and Russia - have agreed on rules governing military activities in Europe. Including the observation and notification of exercises," he said. "Today, Allies raised particular concern over the excessive use of snap exercises. These are destabilising, and do not improve the overall climate of our relations.Many around the table called for the members of the NATO-Russia Council to contribute at the OSCE to updating the Vienna Document on military exercises and activities."

The Kavkaz-2016 drills were held in Russia’s Southern Military District in September 2016. The drills involved more than 12,000 servicemen, aviation and the Navy. NATO’s Trident Juncture exercises were held in the Baltic countries in October 2016.

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