NATO-Russia Council will be held before the Alliance Summit in Warsaw, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in his opening remark on the second day of the Alliance foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels on Friday, Censor.NET reports citing Interfax-Ukraine.
According to Jens Stoltenberg, the ministers agreed to keep constructing military facilities for the purpose of defense and deterrence. He noted that a broad consensus had been reached that NATO should hold the NATO-Russia Council meeting before the next Alliance Summit in July. He stressed the need to consider various factors and practical considerations to organize the NATO-Russia Council meeting.
He explained that NATO foreign ministers discussed relations with Russia during a working dinner on Thursday evening. The secretary general said that the foreign ministers had agreed on a dual approach - a strong defense and deterrence and political dialogue, adding that it was NATO's joint stance expressed by all the ministers who participated in the discussion.
According to Stoltenberg, strong defense provides predictability which is the basis for political cooperation with Russia.
"We discussed our relationship with Russia, and we agreed on dual-track approach - defense and deterrence and political dialogue," Stoltenberg said at a joint briefing with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, KyivPost reports. "There's no contradiction between strong defense and dialogue. Our practical cooperation remains suspended; but we decided to keep a chance for political dialogue to remain open."
One of the aims of the NATO-Russia Council meeting, Stoltenberg said, is to reduce risks and increase transparency and predictability. The goal is to avoid "dangerous incidents" and prevent conflict- such as Turkey's downing of a Russia fighter jet last year - "from spiraling out of control."