German FM Welcomes Relaunch of NATO-Russia Council to Avoid Confrontation

September 2 – German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday he was satisfied with the relaunch of the NATO-Russia Council. He added that it is necessary to restart the dialogue on specific subjects, including negotiations on arms control. “I am happy that thanks to your help as well, the NATO-Russia Council is working again, at the ambassadorial level so far,” Steinmeier told reporters at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“In order to be sure that we are not rolling back to confrontation,” the minister added. The NATO-Russia Council was created in 2002 as a consultative mechanism. NATO suspended all practical civilian and military cooperation with Russia after the Ukraine crisis broke out in April 2014. The first Russia-NATO Council meeting since the relations deterioration, held at the level of permanent envoys, took place on April 20 but failed to yield any significant results due to the sides’ disagreement on a number of geopolitical issues. One more meeting of the Council at the ambassadorial level was held in the Belgian capital of Brussels on July 13.

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