© AFP 2018 / John Toogenerously NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg at a press conference following the Council Russia-NATO in the headquarters of NATO in Brussels. Archival photo© 2018 AFP / John Thys
This year’s second meeting of the Council Russia-NATO at the level of ambassadors will take place on Wednesday in Brussels on the background of Washington’s declared intention to withdraw from the Treaty on the elimination of intermediate and shorter-range missiles (INF Treaty), the allies carried out in the last days internal consultations on the subject, calling on Russia to be transparent in order to avoid a new arms race.
The last NRC meeting at the level of permanent representatives was held in the headquarters of NATO on may 31. Then they discussed the situation in Ukraine and around it, as well as issues related to military activities, transparency and reduction of military risks.
Another meeting about the possibility of convening a which the journalists said a source in NATO at the beginning of October, in all probability, will be dedicated, among other things, the situation around the Treaty, out of which, citing its violation by the Russian Federation, intend USA. Officially, the Alliance and confirmed that the topic will be on the agenda.
«I’m not going to go into details of the agenda, we will inform you about the meeting after the conference», – said Tuesday the Secretary General of the Alliance Jens Stoltenberg. Earlier, a source in NATO told journalists that the meeting can raise any topics that concern them. Separate press conferences following the meeting is not provided.
«When we are talking about the INF Treaty, we must remember that the problem lies in the deployment of new Russian missiles. In Europe there is no new American missiles, but there are more new Russian missiles, missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. And the missiles put the INF Treaty at risk. All NATO allies expressed their concern about the new Russian missiles, we clearly understand that the United States comply with the INF Treaty,» said ahead of the meeting, Stoltenberg position of the Alliance.
According to him, «no Treaty can be effective if it is observed only by one party, and therefore we call on Russia to ensure full and transparent compliance with the INF Treaty, because we do not want a new arms race». So he answered a question of journalists in Norway, is there any chance to save the agreement following the meeting of the NRC.
Permanent mission of Russia to NATO earlier confirmed the holding of the October 31 next meeting of the NRC, saying that it will discuss «current issues of European security.»
«We confirm that on 31 October there will be a meeting of the Council Russia-NATO, which will discuss the issues of military security, prevention of dangerous incidents in the interests of de-escalation of military-political tensions, as well as other topical European security issues», — stated in the message.
Director of the European cooperation Department of Russian foreign Ministry Andrey Kelin said that the US plans of withdrawal from the Treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range, most likely, will be discussed at the upcoming meeting.
«I think that without the hottest topic now — the topic announced the upcoming withdrawal of the United States (the INF Treaty), it most likely will not do,» said Kelin reporters at the site of the discussion club «Valdai».
Russian Deputy foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said that Moscow does not reject dialogue with NATO, «because he believes that in the conditions of increased military activity in Europe needs the conversation in order to achieve a de-escalation, to prevent dangerous military incidents, to avoid misunderstanding of intentions.»
According to him, in the framework of the Council Russia-NATO, Russia intends to continue military contacts, because as long as frozen such contacts to develop a Toolkit to avoid dangerous military incidents will not work.
Inside NATO the dialogue with Russia in the framework of the Council also consider it necessary.
«I welcome the convening of the NRC, I think it is important that NATO and Russia met. We keep each other informed, we have discussions where we review many different issues of importance to Euro-Atlantic security, and I look forward to meetings which we will hold. Because when relations between Russia and NATO is complicated, then a particularly important dialogue,» said Tuesday the Secretary General of the Alliance.
Currently, the duties of Russia’s envoy to NATO plays Yuri Gorlach.
Earlier, the President of the United States Donald trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range. Trump said that America will increase its nuclear capability as long as the others «comes to her senses», then Washington will be ready to stop this process and proceed to arms reduction. He explained that this message is addressed primarily to China and Russia.