NATO, Russia envoys to meet in Brussels next week

By REUTERS
April 12, 2016 16:32

 
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BRUSSELS - NATO envoys will hold their first formal meeting with Russia in almost two years on April 20, the Western alliance said on Tuesday, with the crisis in Ukraine, reducing military risks and Afghanistan on the agenda.

"It is not a return to business as usual, but we do need dialogue," said a NATO spokeswoman.

The forum bringing together Russia and its former Cold War adversary NATO was never officially suspended, but met last in June 2014 as Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula strained ties. Both sides have now agreed to hold talks at ambassador level in Brussels in the NATO-Russia Council.

While the West and Russia remain at odds over Ukraine, the meeting is a sign of willingness to improve diplomatic relations that could help avoid any accidental clashes in the region.

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