09:31 GMT24 June 2021
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    On Wednesday, the first Russia-NATO Council meeting since June 2014 took place in Brussels.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – There are currently no positive elements in the Russia-NATO agenda, Russian Envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said Wednesday.

    Earlier in the day, Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) met for the first time on Wednesday since the western military alliance cut off ties with Moscow in April 2014.

    “There were statements to improve the machinery of these bilateral agreements, but there was no interest on the US side, and today we said very clearly that we are prepared to engage with those countries who want to have sharper bilateral instruments,” Grushko told reporters in English.

    He also said that measures of trust between Russia and NATO were impossible without the alliance drawing back on its military activities on the Russian border.

    According to Grushko, another meeting of the NATO-Russia council could be possible if the sides were actually interested in it.

    On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that the council's session agenda would reflect both Russia's and NATO's interests.

    The NATO-Russia Council was created in 2002 as a mechanism for consultations and cooperation between NATO member states and Russia on a wide range of security issues.

    The format was suspended in 2014 amid stained relations over the Ukrainian crisis, as the alliance accused Moscow of the involvement in the conflict.

    Russia has repeatedly dismissed the allegations of meddling in Ukrainian affairs and stressed that NATO's military expansion and increased presence near Russian borders undermines regional security.


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