NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed the value of political dialogue following the NATO-Russia Council on Wednesday, July 13. “Today we had very useful discussions. We addressed some of the most important issues on the Euro-Atlantic security agenda. This shows the value of the NATO-Russia Council,” he said.
A meeting of NATO and Russian ministers followed NATO summit in Warsaw, where the alliance announced it was deploying four battalions along its eastern flank in the face of Russia's more assertive, more aggressive behavior. Russia is not happy about the NATO buildup in nations that have historically been under its control.
Russian counterpart, Alexander Grushko told reporters NATO's plans are unjustified because "Russia is not a threat to the alliance." He accused the U.S.-led organization of raising tensions in an area of Europe that has been peaceful until now and added: "Of course, we'll take all necessary measures to protect our security."
"The atmosphere in the meeting was good, but we didn't agree," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after the meeting on Wednesday, adding that the talks were "useful" with "frank and open discussions."
NATO remains at loggerheads with Russia over Ukraine but will consider a Kremlin proposal for reducing the risk of air accidents in the crowded skies over the Baltic Sea, involving the use of warplanes' transponders. The NATO chief said "allies will study this proposal carefully," but want more details
The NATO Secretary General underlined that the NATO-Russia Council remains an important forum for dialogue. “There was not a meeting of the minds today. But it was an important opportunity to clarify our positions to each other,” he said.