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    German FM Says NATO-Russia Hotline Will Help Avoid Escalation

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    Restoring the Russia-NATO “hotline” communications link will help avoid an escalation of tensions and misinterpretation of signals, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Wednesday.

    "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.

    According to earlier reports, NATO and Russian military command are maintaining a round-the-clock channel of communication, and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the chairman of the NATO Military Committee now have a direct communication line with their Russian colleagues.

    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.

    Related:

    NATO, Russia Need 'Hot Line' on Military Activities - Steinmeier
    NATO Initiates Hotline With Moscow, But Sends Russian Diplomats Out
    Tags:
    NATO, security cooperation, hotline communications link, NATO Military Committee, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Europe
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