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NATO responds to Russian military on their risk reduction proposal

The oral reply was received at a meeting of Russian Ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko and NATO’s First Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow

BRUSSELS, September 15 /TASS/. NATO has responded to Russia’s proposal on reduction of military risks, Russian Ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko said after meeting NATO’s First Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow on Thursday.

"Today, we have received an oral reply to the proposals on measures to reduce military risks, which our military made at a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council on July 13. This (NATO) reply will be studied in detail," Grushko stressed.

At the same time, he did not comment the essence of this response. "Public comments on the core of the matter can hardly be helpful at this stage. We intend to act in accordance with normal diplomatic practices," Grushko added.

He said that Vershbow’s statement circulated by the NATO headquarters after the meeting could not but cast doubts on NATO’s true intentions.

"There is an impression that the alliance is searching for any pretext to justify its previous far-fetched decisions to suspend practical cooperation with Russia. It realized how counter-productive these decisions and other steps designed to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank are and understood that their obvious mismatch with real security needs was growing clearer every day, as international interaction to counter common threats and challenges and end regional instability is strengthening," the Russian representative to NATO concluded.

In a statement released earlier, NATO said that it had not changed its stance on Russia which it took when the Ukraine crisis broke out and which consisted in suspending practical cooperation with Russia. At the same time, NATO decided to leave open the channels of political dialogue, including communication on military issues, with Russia.