14:49 GMT +313 December 2018
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    Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

    Russia Offered NATO Specific Proposals on Renewed Military Cooperation - Lavrov

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    Russian Foreign Minister said that Russia presented NATO with specific proposals on restoring military cooperation at the latest NATO-Russia Council meeting.

    YEKATERINBURG (Sputnik) Russia presented NATO with specific proposals on restoring military cooperation at the latest NATO-Russia Council meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

    "We handed over specific proposals on restoring military cooperation at our latest session last month, first and foremost regarding increasing confidence in this area," Lavrov said at the Ural Federal University in Russia's Yekaterinburg.

    The European public and politicians are increasingly aware of the lack of alternatives to resuming good relations and cooperation with Russia, Sergei Lavrov said.

    "We see that Europe's awareness of the lack of alternatives to normalizing relations and resuming existing cooperation formats is growing. We are receiving the corresponding signals not only from representatives of the public, from academic and business circles and regular citizens, but also from many politicians," Lavrov said at the Ural Federal University in Russia's Yekaterinburg.

    The realization that suspending the work of the NATO-Russia Council and freezing cooperation mechanisms between Russia and the European Union was a mistake is increasingly dawning on Europe, he added, speaking at an event also attended by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

    The two ministers are set to hold a meeting later in the day to discuss the situations in Ukraine and Syria, as well as other international issues.

    Lavrov also expressed hope for Russian-German relations to return to their previous level, adding that the issue must be approached in a comprehensive manner.

    In 2014, relations between Russia and the European Union deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine. Brussels, Washington and their allies introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions over Crimea's secession from Ukraine and reunification with Russia and accusing Moscow of meddling in the Ukrainian conflict. Russia has repeatedly refuted the accusations, and warned that the sanctions are counterproductive and undermine regional and global stability.

    Moscow hopes that Russia and the European Union will be able to restore all cooperation mechanisms and move away from the "ideologization" of relations, Russian Foreign Minister added.

    According to Lavrov, Western governments are starting to realize that politics should not affect commercial cooperation on mutually beneficial projects, such as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

    "This gives me hope that we will move away from the ideologization and gradually restore all cooperation mechanisms," Lavrov said at the Ural Federal University in Russia's Yekaterinburg.


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