Brussels (Brussels Morning) NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has scheduled a special meeting between the alliance’s ambassadors and top Russian officials for next week, as part of efforts on both sides to seek dialogue over further escalation of tensions over Ukraine.
Citing a NATO official, Reuters reports that the next meeting of the so-called NATO-Russia Council will take place in Brussels on 12 January, following planned talks between US and Russian officials, which are to take place on 10 January in Geneva.
European Commission Vice President and High Representative Josep Borrell visited Ukraine on Tuesday, the start of a two-day trip to show EU support for Kiev, which hopes to join both the Union and NATO.
The upcoming talks take place as tensions between Russia and the West have been growing over Moscow’s troop movements near the Ukrainian border, with the US and Ukraine fearing that Russia might attempt an invasion of the country.
Russia, meantime, maintains it has been pushed to the wall by NATO’s expanding influence to the east in former Soviet Bloc countries, and is demanding a series of security guarantees from the alliance in order to de-escalate the situation.
The talks will continue on 13 January in the broader format of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which includes both the EU and NATO members, as well as Russia and the former Soviet states.
An EU spokesperson emphasised that Borrell believes Brussels should take a more active role in the talks, having stressed that “the EU cannot be a neutral spectator in the negotiations if Russia really wants to discuss Europe’s security architecture.”