Latest NATO-Russia meeting underlines persisting differences

After the NATO-Russia Council meeting on Thursday 26 October, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that although the two sides had "a frank exchange” with regard to Afghanistan, transparency and risk reduction, fundamental differences remain about the situation in Eastern Ukraine.

The NATO-Russia Council meeting, attended by both Aleksandr Grushko, the Russian ambassador to NATO, and the NATO Secretary-General, addressed risk reduction and transparency in the interaction between the two actors in reference to the increasingly frequent and dangerous encounters between NATO and Russian jets. Stoltenberg pointed out the progress made by the Finnish-led Expert Group on Baltic Sea Air Safety. For progress in mutual relations, Stoltenberg marked an exchange of information on the latest military exercises, on the other hand, multiple Allied sources indicated that Russia's Zapad 2017 drill had significantly exceeded the scope previously disclosed by the Kremlin both quantitatively and geographically. 

Russia also denied providing support to the Taliban in reaction to the 23 March statement by NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR). Despite the recent efforts to resolve the conflict in Eastern Ukraine at the UN Security Council, there is currently no feasible solution to the war.

About author: Mihai Turcanu


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