08:56 GMT +315 December 2019
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    Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu speaks at the 5th International Security Conference, Moscow.

    Results of Russia-NATO Council Don't Look Optimistic - Defense Minister

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    The results of the first Russia-NATO Council in two years doesn't look too optimistic, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at the fifth Moscow Conference on International Security.

    On April 20, a first Russia-NATO Council meeting at the level of permanent envoys in Brussels in two years failed to yield any significant results due to the sides’ disagreement on a number of geopolitical issues.

    “Issues of European security will be discussed tomorrow. The situation in this area is sad. Russia’s military cooperation with NATO countries and the European Union is frozen by no fault of ours and the Russia-NATO Council meeting on April 20 has not added any optimism,” Sergei Shoigu said.

    The Russian Defense Minister said that the actions of the US and NATO, which include the deployment of supporting military infrastructure near Russia's borders, are forcing Moscow to take retaliatory measures.

    "<…> the United States and NATO have started deploying supporting military infrastructure near Russian borders, implementing dangerous missile defense plans, increasing military spending. Such actions force us to take adequate retaliatory measures," Shoigu said.

    "We prefer to communicate with the Alliance at the negotiating table, not through gun sights," the defense minister stressed.

    Russia is willing to restore relations with NATO, however, this must be done on the basis of reciprocity, according to Sergei Shoigu.

    "We are not against restoring relations with NATO, but this can only be done on the basis of reciprocity, respect for national interests and equal, indivisible security for all," he said.

    Russia-NATO cooperation, NATO-Russia Council, NATO, Sergei Shoigu, Russia
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