Foreign Ministry’s comment following the Russia-NATO Council meeting at the level of permanent representatives
After a nearly two-year-long pause and upon the suggestion of the alliance, the Russia-NATO Council (RNC) met at the level of permanent representatives in Brussels on April 20.
The participants discussed in detail the Ukraine crisis as they emphasised the need for a full, phased-in implementation of the Minsk agreements, the situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, regional terrorist threats, and risks arising from the unprecedented build-up by NATO of its military activities and infrastructure in the regions that border Russia.
The Russian side focused on the destructive nature of NATO’s course on the military and political containment of our country. NATO members were advised with regard to the negative consequences of the unilateral suspension by NATO of practical cooperation in fighting terrorism, and in Afghanistan. Many opportunities were missed in the wake of NATO freezing the established military cooperation. The Brussels policy that throws unconditional support behind military policies pursued by the Kiev authorities in southeastern Ukraine also came under scrutiny. The Russian side pointed out NATO’s responsibility for the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and the rapid spread of the terrorist threat from that state in the region.
Despite the fact that NATO clearly manifested its inability to go beyond politicised intra-bloc positions during the discussions, and all-too-known attempts by individual NATO members to discredit the RNC, we still regard it as a useful channel for holding consultations between NATO and Russia on key security issues.
We will carefully review the results of the meeting. With regard to our further contacts and the level of intensity of political dialogue with NATO, we will be based strictly on NATO’s willingness to maintain equal cooperation and account for Russia’s national interests.
We hope that NATO will be able to muster its political will and demonstrate a truly responsible approach towards establishing a systemic interaction with our country.