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Senior NATO Official Warns Against Viewing Russia 'in Black-and-White Format'

© 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's Military Committee chairman warned against talking about Russia "in black-and-white format".

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — NATO cannot have a one-sided perception of Russia and must continue cooperation despite many differences between the two sides, NATO's Military Committee Chairman Petr Pavel said Sunday.

"We simply cannot talk about and think about Russia in black-and-white format…The fact that we have different foundations with Russia, we have different views on many things, doesn’t mean that we can entirely exclude any cooperation with Russia," Pavel said following a committee conference in Croatia, as quoted by the US Department of Defense.

Poland's 6th Airborne Brigade soldiers (R) walk with U.S. 82nd Airborne Division soldiers during the NATO allies' Anakonda 16 exercise near Torun, Poland (File) - Sputnik International
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The NATO Military Committee, which is the alliance's highest military authority, met in the Croatian city of Split on September 16-18. The member countries' defense chiefs discussed implementing decisions taken at the alliance's July summit in Warsaw, according to the NATO press service.

The areas of common interest between Russia and NATO include counter-terrorism and ending the war in Syria, Pavel added, stressing that the relationship must be firm but pragmatic.

In July, NATO's Warsaw summit participants designated Moscow as neither an enemy nor a strategic partner. The alliance also reaffirmed its opposition to Crimea's 2014 reunification with Russia and agreed to increase assistance to Ukraine.

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