04:13 GMT04 March 2021
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    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that there are many issues and topics on which even formal dialogue between NATO and Russia is useful and necessary.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — Dialogue between NATO and Russia is necessary and its resumption is positive, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Saturday.

    "I welcome the fact that we have identified the last obstacles, and that the NATO-Russia Council will soon resume its important work. It is positive that dialogue is to be renewed. There are many issues and topics on which even formal dialogue between the alliance and Russia is useful and necessary," Steinmeier said, as quoted in a Foreign Ministry statement.

    On Friday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the NATO-Russia Council would hold a meeting at the level of ambassadors within two weeks. The council will discuss “the crisis in and around Ukraine and the need to fully implement the Minsk Agreements,” “the security situation in Afghanistan, including regional terrorist threats” as well as a range of military activities, he specified.

    NATO decided to suspend all practical cooperation with Russia in April 2014 less than a month after Crimea's rejoined Russia. Nevertheless, the Alliance kept channels of political dialogue and military communication open.

    Moscow has repeatedly pointed at the legality of Crimea's referendum to join Russia, and denied being a party to the Ukraine conflict.

    NATO foreign ministers planned to review the alliance's relations in June.


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