Russia, NATO hold high-level talks for first time in 3 years

Moscow, March 4 (IANS) The Russian Defence Ministry announced on Friday that it had restarted talks with NATO after three years of silence.

EFE news quoted the Ministry as saying that Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov spoke with the Czech NATO military committee chairman General Petr Pavel over the phone.

“The parties exchanged their opinions about topical issues of security, prospects for a recovery of military cooperation, prevention of incidents and participation of the Alliance representatives in international activities held by the Russian Defence Ministry,” a Ministry statement said.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Council had decided to freeze its relations with Moscow in 2014, after Russia illegally annexed the Crimean peninsula.

Pavel made the first move to initiate talks and both sides agreed to continue to cooperate.

“The parties confirmed the necessity of mutual steps aimed to decrease tensions and to build up stabilisation in Europe,” said the Russian Defence Ministry.

The resumption of talks followed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent call to cooperate more closely with the United States in the fight against terror.

–IANS

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