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US envoy says Russia has no plans to attack NATO

The US envoy also accused Russia of becoming "a source of instability and uncertainty, of unpredictability for the NATO alliance"

WASHINGTON, December 19. /TASS/. Russia is not intending to attack the North Atlantic Alliance, US Permanent Representative to NATO Douglas Lute has said.

"I don't believe that anyone in Russia today intends to attack NATO," the US diplomat told ABC broadcaster in an interview. "But that doesn't mean that we don't have a responsibility to reassure allies like Estonia who are frontline allies, that is they have a land border with Russia or allies who are potentially susceptible to cyber attack or misinformation campaigns and so forth."

The US envoy repeated a range of traditional propaganda rubber stamps, also accusing Russia of becoming "a source of instability and uncertainty, of unpredictability for the NATO alliance."

Commenting on the plans to hold the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at the level of ambassadors in Brussels on Monday, the first one since July, Lute said the issue of cyber security is not "an immediate agenda item." "I imagine that more than one ally, however, will bring up with our Russian counterpart this pattern of malign influence that is seen not only in the United States by way of this DNC hacking experience but across other democracies in the alliance."

Russia’s Ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko earlier said that Moscow expects a frank dialogue with the alliance on security in Europe "taking into account the factors influencing it, including, certainly, the consequences of NATO’s efforts on the eastern flank," the diplomat said.

According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO-Russia Council will discuss issues of transparency of military activities in Europe, the Ukrainian crisis, measures to reduce risks of military incidents and accidents.

The previous meeting of the Russia-NATO Council took place in Brussels on July 13, four days after the NATO summit in Warsaw. Since then the alliance has repeatedly said it planned to organize another meeting. Russia however kept on saying such a meeting would be expedient only when NATO was ready for a substantive dialogue.