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NATO tells Russia it is interested in de-escalation, says senior diplomat

Russia plans to discuss military buildup at NATO-Russia Council, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said

MOSCOW, June 28. /TASS/. The July 5 meeting of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) will be held at the initiative of the alliance, NATO says it is interested in de-escalating tensions, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told reporters on Friday.

"We have much to discuss. In addition to the INF Treaty, it is the overall security situation, primarily from the perspective of NATO’s intensified activities and the implementation of plans to strengthen the eastern flank, which likewise makes the situation worse. I think the parties will exchange briefings on the most important military exercises," he said.

"The NATO member-countries assure us that they are interested in de-escalation, the tools to prevent dangerous military incidents, that they are interested in making sure that the parties avoid misunderstanding each other’s intentions," he said, stressing that the council’s meeting will be held at the alliance’s request.

According to Grushko, if "considerations, which can really rectify the situation in the military realm to some extent" appear after the meeting, "that would be good for the current stage of relations between Russia and the alliance’s members."

He also recalled that the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) earlier approved statements containing specific proposals on cooperation addressed to NATO.