NATO and Russia resumes dialogue

NATO and Russia resumes dialogue

The first since last October NATO-Russia Council (NRC) convened today in Brussels. 

"The Council had an open exchange on several topics, including the situation in and around Ukraine, issues related to military activities, transparency and risk reduction, as well as asymmetric techniques as aspects of doctrine and strategy," NATO said in a statement, published on its website.

It was also noted that NATO and Russia both briefed on major upcoming exercises.

The NATO-Russia Council (NRC) was established as a mechanism for consultation, consensus-building, cooperation, joint decision and joint action. The NRC was established at the NATO-Russia Summit, which was held at Pratica di Mare Air Force Base near Rome, on 28 May 2002 by the Declaration on “NATO-Russia Relations: a New Quality”. The Rome Declaration builds on the goals and principles of the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, which remains the formal basis for NATO-Russia relations. The NRC replaced the Permanent Joint Council (PJC), a forum for consultation and cooperation created by the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act. 

Within the NRC, the individual NATO member states and Russia have worked as equal partners on a wide spectrum of security issues of common interest.

Today's meeting is the seventh in the past two years, with the previous one taking place in October.

The deputy director of the Political and Military Analysis Institute, Alexander Khramchikhin, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the relations between NATO and Russia can be called more reminiscent of the "cold war": "First of all, the rapprochement is hampered by the absolute absence of mutual trust and colossal mutual demonization. The current meeting will bring nothing new, since the NATO-Russia Council was an absolutely decorative structure before the current conflict. I do not quite understand what steps the parties can take to make the dialogue more effective, since this conflict is in the field of psychology," the expert concluded.

The President of the National Strategy Institute, Mikhail Remizov, in the first place stressed that with the current state of relations between Russia and the alliance the best thing to expect is consultations on preventing military incidents. As for the fundamental differences, all of them can be discussed: "For example, the formation of a new arms control regime in Europe. The former one, apparently, has become completely worthless, according to the existing strategic geopolitical situation. Can it be discussed? Yes. But there should be sufficient motivation. The main reason is that the image of the enemy, in the person of Russia, is the most important tool for transatlantic integration for the US. The same goes for the NATO bloc's apparatus. There is a leader - the United States, there is an apparatus. They are interested in not just preserving, but cultivating and activating the image of the enemy in the person of Russia," the expert said.

As for the so-called "soft security" issues, NATO is not an effective tool for solving the issues of countering terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal migration: "From this point of view, the US policy for Europe posed more problems than solutions. Accordingly, they are forced to focus on tough security issues. In relation to whom? Russia, of course, because tough security issues with respect to China or North Korea, or Iran, are resolved by the US in other formats," Mikhail Remizov summed up.

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