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24 Jun, 2021 15:38

NATO is completely refusing all military cooperation with Russia, despite Moscow’s offer of dialogue, says Foreign Minister Lavrov

NATO is completely refusing all military cooperation with Russia, despite Moscow’s offer of dialogue, says Foreign Minister Lavrov

NATO is refusing to have any communication with Russia through military representatives, despite the numerous issues that are important for stability between Moscow and the transatlantic organization, like strategic arms control.

That’s according to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who told the Moscow Conference on International Security on Thursday that Russia remains open to professional dialogue, including over proposals to reduce border tensions.

“NATO does not want to communicate at all through the military,” the minister said. “Our constructive, concrete proposals aimed at reducing military danger along the line of contact between Russia and NATO have been on the table for almost two years, but there has been no answer.”

Lavrov also accused NATO strategists of being “obsessed” with “Russian aggression” and noted his bemusement that the bloc has ignored President Vladimir Putin's proposals on strategic stability.

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“We were surprised by the lack of a clear reaction on the part of NATO member countries,” he explained, noting that President Putin had proposed banning certain classes of ground missiles from being placed in Europe.

On Tuesday, Lavrov’s deputy Sergey Ryabkov revealed that Moscow and Washington would begin bilateral talks on strategic stability very shortly. The agreement to have the discussions was made by Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden on June 16, when the two leaders met in Switzerland for a landmark summit. The meeting was held at Villa La Grange, a historic 18th-century villa with a beautiful view of Lake Geneva.

At the end of the meeting, the two delegations released a joint statement on strategic stability and agreed to continue consultations on the future of the START arms control treaty.

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