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UNITED NATIONS, March 1. /TASS/. A mechanism to prevent military incidents needs to be set up in view of the growing tensions between Russia and NATO countries, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Lamberto Zannier said in an interview with TASS. According to him, bilateral mechanisms are not good enough as far as potential risks are concerned.
The OSCE Secretary General pointed to close encounters between the Russian and NATO aircraft and the Russian warplanes’ flybys near NATO warships. "We should have also mechanisms to address these things. Because this is the new environment and there are potential risks of incidents," Zannier noted.
"There is a need for this mechanism whether it’s the OSCE, or somewhere else it’s not too important," he went on to say. "But the problem is that there is a need for a regulatory framework, whatever you call it, that will address these problems." According to Zannier, "bilateral (mechanism) is not good enough."
He did not rule out that the Russia-NATO Council could establish a new mechanism, noting that the Council "excludes potentially other countries, such as Ukraine."
Zannier also said that he was very much concerned over tensions between Russia and NATO as well as the lack of cooperation, particularly within the OSCE. "We created the OSCE for a dialogue between NATO and the Warsaw pact, when there was no dialogue. Now we’re going in the direction where there is no dialogue between Russia and the West. It’s all propositioning sanctions, it’s no business as usual at all," he said.
The OSCE secretary general added that "the OSCE is not working in the mode it was conceived." "There is a lack of a process, of a dialog to address these concerns," he explained.
At the same time, Zannier pointed to some positive moments, including the so-called structured dialogue on current and future challenges and risks to security in the OSCE area, which was agreed on at the OSCE ministerial meeting held in December 2016 in Hamburg. The dialogue "should be focusing on arms control, but also more broadly on the state of security. If there is interest, this process might produce results," Zannier said. According to him, discussions are planned to begin this month.