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    A general view of the table for a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at the level of defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013

    NATO-Russia Council to Discuss Avoiding Military Incidents

    © AP Photo / Yves Herman
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    The mechanism of military incidents' avoidance aimed at minimizing unintended escalation will be discussed at the next NATO-Russia Council meeting, a senior NATO official said Friday.

    MOSCOW, July 8 (Sputnik) — On July 8-9, NATO is holding a Summit in Warsaw, Poland to discuss boosting the alliance’s military presence in Eastern Europe, counterterrorism, Afghanistan and defense budgeting, among other topics.

    "The important thing is that there will be second NATO-Russia council, which demonstrates that NATO is serious with dual track approach: strengthening our deterrence and defense as a basis for a meaningful dialogue with Russia with a focus on risk reduction, transparency and predictability. The reason for that is clear. Due to the increased military activities such as the snap exercises observed in Russia, the simulation activities in the Baltic Sea, the risk of misunderstandings, the risk of incidents and the risk of unintended escalation has increased," a senior NATO official said at the press-briefing.

    "This is what we need to address and to tackle. This is in our own security interest to find ways with Russia to talk about that and seek an established mechanism to avoid such unintended escalation," the official added.

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that the next NATO-Russia Council meeting at ambassadorial level, set for July 13, would be the first step to assess the possibility of holding the meeting at ministerial level.

    Since 2014, the alliance has been building up its military presence in Europe, especially in Eastern European countries neighboring Russia, using Moscow’s alleged interference in the Ukrainian conflict as a pretext. Moscow has repeatedly denied the claims and warned NATO that the military buildup on Russia’s borders is provocative and threatens the existing strategic balance of power.

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