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Moscow Ready to Cooperate With NATO but Every Year Relations Deteriorate - Russian Defence Minister

© AP Photo / Evan VucciNATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg makes an opening statement during a plenary session at the NATO summit at The Grove, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, in Watford, England
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg makes an opening statement during a plenary session at the NATO summit at The Grove, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, in Watford, England - Sputnik International
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Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated after he 26th Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Bratislava that NATO wants to dominate not only the Euroatlantic region but the Middle East as well.

Speaking at Russian Rossiya 1 TV channel, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia is ready to cooperate with NATO, but the relations with the bloc have been deteriorating for several years.

"We maintained quite active cooperation in Brussels five years ago ... It seemed to us that we had options and opportunities to move forward in implementing [agreements]. However, unfortunately, all this has not only stopped but [relations] continue to deteriorate each year. On our part, all doors are open and we are ready for cooperation," Shoigu told a TV program aired by Rossiya 1 broadcaster.

The statement comes days after a two-day NATO summit dubbed "NATO Engages: Innovating the Alliance" in London that marked the 70th anniversary of the organisation.

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During the summit, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg touched upon a pressing issue of relations with the bloc's biggest neighbour, Russia, and the US withdrawal from the hallmark 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) treaty. Stoltenberg stressed that the bloc "will strive for a better relationship with Russia".

Stoltenberg said Tuesday that one way to resume talks on the restoration of the INF is finding "ways to include China", a proposal that has been repeatedly denied by Beijing.

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