Statement by the Secretary General on NATO-Russia Council meeting
Following consultations with Russia, we have agreed to hold a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at Ambassadorial level.
This meeting will take place in the next two weeks at the NATQ headquarters in Brussels.
The NATO-Russia Council will discuss the crisis in and around Ukraine and the need to fully implement the Minsk Agreements. We will discuss military activities, with particular focus on transparency and risk reduction. We will also address the security situation in Afghanistan, including regional terrorist threats.
This meeting is the continuation of our political dialogue, as agreed by NATO Heads of State and Government. At the same time, there will be no return to business as usual until Russia again respects international law.
NATO decided to suspend all practical cooperation with Russia in April 2014 in response to Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine. This decision stands. At the same time, NATO kept channels of political dialogue and military communication open.
Since the start of the Russia/Ukraine crisis, there have been two NRC meetings (March 2014 http://bit.ly/23oy4pe and June 2014 http://bit.ly/1qzD7Fy), and two meetings of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (March 2014 http://bit.ly/1RIqemk and March 2015 http://bit.ly/1NdmjZk ), which included Russia.
The NATO Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General, as well as other senior NATO officials, regularly meet with senior Russian officials. The NATO Secretary General last met with Foreign Minister Lavrov at the Munich Security Conference in February 2016. The Deputy Secretary General has met several times with the Russian Ambassador to NATO, Alexander Grushko, including in recent months and weeks.
The NRC is a forum for consultation between NATO and Russia. Within the NRC, Allies and Russia work as equals and all decisions in the NRC are taken by consensus.
The NATO Secretary General is the chairperson of the NRC. The NRC was established at the NATO-Russia Summit in Rome on 28 May 2002.