MOSCOW: NATO needs to step forward to revive contacts with Russia, since Moscow was interested in dialogue and did nothing to aggravate bilateral relations, the Russian foreign ministry stated on Tuesday in response to the NATO publication ‘Myths about relations between Russia and the alliance’.
"Russia has nothing to do with the deterioration of relations with NATO. The alliance is entirely responsible for this. It is NATO that needs to take the initiative to restore them and find ways to settle the ongoing tense situation," the Russian foreign ministry noted.
The foreign ministry recalled that in 2014, NATO suspended practical civil and military cooperation with Russia and unilaterally reduced the Russian diplomatic mission in Brussels in 2015, 2018, and also in October 2021.
During ten meetings, which took place since 2016, NATO "persistently addressed the Ukrainian conflict, to which the alliance has no connection." "We stressed the need to discuss the issues that were really relevant for the NATO-Russia Council - first of all, reducing the military tension. We also put forward some concrete proposals in this field the Russian foreign ministry said.
In 2019, Russia offered a number of additional measures to mitigate tensions in Europe. "Instead of a comprehensive set of de-escalation steps, NATO proposed to limit itself to updating the Vienna Document of 2011. The Alliance did not demonstrate readiness to find common ground on safe distances for the approach of aircraft and ship, referring to the fact that bilateral agreements on the prevention of such incidents between Russia and some other countries of the alliance already exist
The foreign ministry also recalled that Moscow had also taken several unilateral steps to ensure predictability and restraint in the missile sector. In particular, NATO members were asked to follow Russia's example and introduce a counter-moratorium on deploying the intermediate and shorter-range ground-based missiles in Europe. "Russia’s initiatives were also rejected under far-fetched pretexts," the foreign ministry pointed out. A question arises: who has no interest in the dialogue and did everything to prevent the contacts?" the Russian foreign ministry stated.