BERLIN, November 26. /TASS/. Direct contacts between Russia and NATO allow to better understand each other's intentions and are very helpful, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told reporters on Tuesday after a meeting between Chief of the Russian General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach in Baku.
"We positively assess such meetings," Grushko said. "They are very helpful from the point of view of de-escalation, first of all from the point of view of correctly understanding each other's intentions. This is a serious conversation that is held at the level of high command, and its significance is hard to overestimate," he added.
"However, considering real demand for improving military security in Europe, those channels are not enough to start moving in the right direction," he noted. "That's why Russia supports immediate restoration of all military communications channels, and especially resuming dialogue on such platforms as the Russia-NATO Council (RNC)," he stressed.
Grushko reminded that consultations at the level of military representatives in the framework of the RNC were held before, and officials remained in daily contact, exchanged infromation on military activities and changes in doctrines. The diplomat noted that those consultations contributed a lot to strengthening instruments of preventing and avoiding dangerous military incidents.
"Only military officials can discuss such issues as a safe distance between aircraft, between ships, between aircraft and ships," Grushko stressed. "I think that all reasonable peope in Europe understand that in the time of heightened military activities, when there is a very wide line of contact between Russia and NATO, closing those military channels is similar to shooting oneself in the foot. Of course, we hope that we will receive a response to our proposal to start talking about ways to decrease the level of military activities in the zones of contact between Russia and NATO, and it will be impossible to achieve this without directly engaging military channels," Grushko concluded.