07:02 GMT20 October 2020
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    NATO's Secretary General probably has an agenda in mind when saying that the Alliance is currently considering holding a NATO-Russia Council meeting, as such announcements do not come without a reason, Dmitry Danilov, an expert in Foreign Policy, International Security and Arms Control at the Institute of Europe, told RIA Novosti.

    The readiness of the North Atlantic Alliance to reconvene the NATO-Russia Council, following the freezing of bilateral relations over the Ukrainian crisis, signifies that it has some agenda in mind, said Danilov.

    The expert claims that the announcement was expected sooner or later, as relations between the two can hardly be called normal and Russia has been hinting at a resumption in dialogue. However, Danilov suggests that more details are still required.

    “If NATO says that it wants something, then Stoltenberg should answer with the question, 'how do we want to do that?'” he says.

    The expert explained that for a meeting such as this to convene, there needs to be an agenda, and it looks like Stoltenberg already has one in mind. The two parties need to work on tackling the unfavorable development of mutual military and political relations which could lead to the increase of common European risks.

    Secondly, new opportunities have emerged to find a common approach to settle the Ukrainian and Syrian crises and unite in the common fight against Daesh, where NATO can play a certain role.

    Danilov also noted that the two need a “common ground” to normalize the relationship and NATO will provide it, especially when other opportunities for cooperation are not “particularly inviting.”

    The next important issue, he says, is the level of the proposed meeting. If it is going to be on the ambassadorial level, which the current relationship is stuck at, then probably the Secretary General should not have made such an announcement.

    It should be about restoring the whole vertical line of cooperation within the NATO-Russia Council.

    Russia would accept certainly not be opposed to this, the only question being whether Brussels is ready to restore ties and then how Russia should look upon the personnel cut in its mission to NATO.

    Earlier in the day Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO is currently mulling the decision to hold a NATO-Russia Council meeting in order to strengthen the mechanisms of communication while carrying out military operations in Syria.


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