NATO wants to meet with Russia on January 12 – media — Analysis

A report stated that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hopes to organize a NATO Russia Council meeting in January, for the first time since two-and-a half years. Both sides said they’re ready for talks to defuse tensions around Ukraine.

Stoltenberg agreed to hold a meeting in January and had been in touch with Moscow about the matter. Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports that Stoltenberg was quoted as saying by an unnamed NATO official.

It was not immediately clear if Moscow agreed to the proposal, but Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, said on Friday that the country was ready for “direct dialogue”NATO. NATO had offered to host a meeting for Ukraine to address tensions. “We’re looking now at how we can arrange that,”Zakharova stated.

Russia wants NATO to sign a treaty that would ban the bloc’s further expansion eastward. This would effectively block Ukraine’s aspirations to join the US-led military bloc. Moscow has repeatedly said that it sees the bloc’s military infrastructure along its borders as a threat.

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Stoltenberg rejected Russia’s demand, arguing that Ukraine has a “right to choose its own path.” The bloc maintains what it calls an ‘open door policy’, meaning that any country can join if it meets certain criteria.

Stoltenberg stated at the same time that NATO was open to talking to Russia. “We remain ready for meaningful dialogue with Russia. And I intend to call a new meeting of the NATO-Russia Council as soon as possible in the New Year,”He said it this week.

Tensions that have been building for decades between Russia and NATO are now worsening as Western media reports and officials suggest that Moscow might be planning to invade Ukraine. These claims have been denied by Russia.

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