Media: Russia-NATO Council frozen until the end of the year
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has frozen the NATO-Russia Council until the end of the year, reports the newspaper Izvestia, citing Russian diplomatic sources.
It is noted that the pretext for such a step was the Russian-Belarusian Zapad-2017 exercises, which took place from September 14-20 at a training area in Belarus, as well as in the Kaliningrad, Leningrad, and Peskov oblasts in the Russian Federation.
“The Russia-NATO Council will be frozen until the end of this year, at the initiative of Brussels. It is clear that one of the main reasons is the Zapad-2017 exercises held by Russia and Belarus. The Baltic member states of NATO tried to freeze the format many times. [And] The United Kingdom supported them in this. At the same time, despite this decision, communication channels will continue to function,” read a statement by one of the sources.
The Permanent Mission of Russia to NATO confirmed that the date for the next meeting is effectively unknown.
The Russia-NATO Council is the primary forum for cooperation between Russia and the Alliance, and was created in 2002 as a mechanism for consultation, consensus formation, and the enactment of joint decisions. The Council takes place at the level of ambassadors and heads of foreign ministries.
It was earlier reported that the Russian federation is waiting to re-establish cooperation through the Russia-NATO Council in 2018 or, at latest, 2019.