"I am glad that this proposal was not only accepted but also translated into life… This is not a breakthrough, yet it safeguards us against a misinterpretation of signals and at least gives us a chance to timely resolve conflict situations and avoid overreaction that can lead to an escalation,” the German minister told a news briefing Wednesday held on the sidelines the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Antalya, Turkey.
"This is not a breakthrough in Russia-NATO relations but a mechanism whereby both sides know that their interests are being duly accommodated,” he added.
NATO declined to clarify when the telephone line was set up but said that communications channels would always remain open, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported earlier this month. Russia has reportedly already received the telephone numbers.
The initiative mirrors a famous communications channel between the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War. A Moscow–Washington hotline, often referred to as the "red telephone," was established in 1963 following the Cuban missile crisis.