NATO and Russia will hold talks this week as fears grow of a new arms race in Europe, with the US vowing to pull out of a Cold War weapons treaty in response to new Russian missiles.
The meeting of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC), the first since May, comes as the transatlantic alliance carries out its biggest military exercise since the end of the Cold War in Norway, a show of strength intended to deter any would-be aggressor —and which the Kremlin has criticised as “anti-Russian”.
Events over recent years—from Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 to the deadly nerve agent attack in Britain in March, blamed on the Kremlin—have seen tensions between NATO and Russia soar.
But the two sides have maintained regular dialogue in Brussels and ambassadors from the 29 NATO countries will meet their Russian counterpart on Wednesday, an alliance official said.
“This is part of NATO’s twin-track approach of strong defence and meaningful dialogue with Russia, and will be the eighth meeting of the NRC in the last two years,” the official said. -AFP