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NATO Seeks Dialogue With Russia, Not Confrontation - Deputy Chief

© REUTERS / Francois LenoirFlags fly at half mast at NATO headquarters in Brussels, March 23, 2016.
Flags fly at half mast at NATO headquarters in Brussels, March 23, 2016. - Sputnik International
NATO seeks to maintain dialogue with Russia and avoid confrontation, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said Monday.

LONDON (Sputnik) — In 2014, NATO suspended practical civilian and military cooperation with Russia amid strained relations over the Ukrainian crisis, as the alliance accused Moscow of involvement in the conflict. Political dialogue in the NATO-Russia Council, however, was not halted.

The S-125 surface-to-air missile system at the Ashuluk firing ground in the Astrakhan region. - Sputnik International
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In April, a Russia-NATO Council meeting at the level of permanent envoys was held in Brussels.

"NATO wants to avoid confrontation with Russia. We do not seek a new Cold War… While we strengthen our defence, as our responsibilities require us to do, we will continue to strive for meaningful dialogue with Moscow… We continue to view Russia’s full integration into the global community of sovereign nations as essential to our security. And we hope that one day that will be the case," Vershbow said at the UK Parliament.

According to Vershbow, the main obstacle to NATO-Russia rapprochement is that "Russia continues to violate the sovereignty of its neighbours."

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