NATO representatives have once again told Russia that the situation in Ukraine is of “deep concern” at the first session of the Russia-NATO Council to be held this year.
NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg said the alliance urged Moscow to use its influence with militants in eastern Ukraine to compel them to meet their obligations under the so-called Minsk process to resolve the crisis.
He added that NATO was firm in its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“The allies do not and will not recognize Russia’s illegal annexation of [the Ukrainian region of] Crimea,” Stoltenberg said.
The NATO-Russia Council also discussed various military activities and ways of improving “risk reduction” following numerous incidents of close encounters between Russian and NATO military assets.
“It is not an easy dialogue,” Stoltenberg said. “But it is a dialogue we are committed to. And when tensions run high, it is even more important to keep talking with each other to increase predictability and reduce risks.”
Ambassador Grushko declared later today that “it is not possible to build confidence until NATO abandons its military-domination policy.”
He criticized NATO for purportedly adopting a “policy aimed at restraining Russia and demonstrating their military capabilities near our borders.”