MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. Russia confirms its readiness for de-escalation in relations with NATO and believes that the coronavirus pandemic is a good occasion to pool efforts in the face of a common threat, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told the OSCE Annual Security Review Conference, which was held online on Tuesday.
"A crisis is a risk and an opportunity at the same time. COVID-19 exposed the fragility and flaws of international cooperation, and it gives us a chance to unite in the face of a common threat. This opportunity should be used so as not to enter a new spiral of deepening the division lines. We are prepared for de-escalation and we confirm this by action," he said.
Grushko recalled that in the military sphere Russia formulated a number of specific proposals for pulling military exercises back away from the Russia-NATO border line, improving mechanisms of prevention of dangerous military incidents and restoring working contacts along military lines.
"This year Russia’s armed forces plan no major exercises near the borders of NATO’s member-states. The region of the strategic command and staff exercise Caucasus-2020 has been moved deeper inside the country," he added.
"We hope that our partners will react constructively. All members of the OSCE community will need strategic far-sightedness and ability to discard the philosophy of domination, sanitary cordons and iron curtains," Grushko said.