16:44 GMT +315 December 2018
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    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is holding a press-conference.

    NATO Supports Arms Control, Ready for Dialogue With Russia - Stoltenberg

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    In late October, the Russian Armed Forces said in a statement that it had observed a noticeable increase in NATO reconnaissance activity on its borders in recent months.

    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday that the bloc supported the idea of arms control and was ready for talks with Russia.

    "NATO is a strong advocate for arms control to make us all safer. We seek dialogue with Russia, and we aspire to improve relations. But to make this possible, Russia must fully comply with its international commitments," Stoltenberg told reporters ahead of the meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

    The NATO secretary general said that the foreign ministers would discuss the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

    Stoltenberg said that NATO was assessing the situation and would take measures to ensure the security of all the members of the alliance.

    The statement comes two months after Stoltenberg said that the alliance was ready to continue a dialogue on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia.

    Speaking further, the senior official called on for a restraint around the latest Kersh incident.

    On November 25, three Ukrainian Navy vessels, the Berdyansk, Nikopol, and Yany Kapu — entered Russian territorial waters that were temporarily closed and began moving toward the Kerch Strait, which serves as an entrance to the sea. The Ukrainian vessels and their 24 crew members were detained by Russia after failing to respond to a lawful demand that they stop.

    READ MORE: WATCH Russian FSB Ships Pursue Ukrainian Vessels in Kerch Strait

    Russian President Vladimir Putin called the incident a pre-planned provocation, saying that it seemed to be connected to Ukrainian President Poroshenko's low approval ratings ahead of next spring's presidential elections.

    Russia and NATO are holding discussions on present-day issues via the NATO-Russia Council that was established on May 28, 2002. The council, however, was suspended in 2014-2016 over the situation in Ukraine. The latest NATO-Russia Council meeting was held in October at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

    Related:

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    Poroshenko Wants NATO to Send Warships to Black Sea After Kerch Strait Incident
    US Will Address INF Treaty Withdrawal at NATO Summit – Reports
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    dialogue, NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, Russia
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