BRUSSELS, October 27. /TASS/. A meeting of the Council NATO – Russia (NRC) at the ambassadorial level in Brussels did not bring practical solutions or sensational statements. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Russia’s envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said after its completion that on Thursday held “very direct and open dialogue”, which must be continued.
This NRC meeting was the third since the beginning of the year, and the two sides exchanged views, assessments and mutual claims on three major themes that defines relations, security and military transparency in Europe, the situation in Afghanistan and Ukraine.
The number “of Russian troops participating in the exercises “West-2017,” was much higher than was announced previously.” With this statement made by Stoltenberg following the meeting of the NRC.
“Many members of the Alliance drew attention to the fact that there are differences between the information in the briefings and the scope and the scale that took place in reality. NATO countries have indicated that the number of personnel was much higher than previously announced by Russian numbers, the plan itself was different and the geographic scope was broader,” said he.
According to the NATO Secretary General, Russia and NATO intend to continue sharing his teachings in Europe. “This mismatch of information of the Russian Federation and the actual action is yet another argument in favor of joint briefings and continue the dialogue”, – said Stoltenberg.
Answering the journalists ‘ question about whether Moscow intends to hold military exercises “the West” every two years, Stoltenberg said: “Every country has the right to conduct exercises. Today was information that they will be held every year, but the case of Russia. Importantly, to comply with the Vienna document”.
Ordinary NATO propaganda
NATO launched a major propaganda campaign around the Russian-Belarusian exercises “West-2017” to justify capacity-building in Eastern Europe, said Grushko.
“Around the exercises “West-2017″ in NATO was deployed a massive propaganda campaign, under which the Alliance is engaged in building up their forces in Eastern Europe”, – said the permanent representative of the Russian Federation. Answering the question of TASS, he said that NATO was unable to provide any evidence of its statement that Russia allegedly understated the level of participation of their forces in the exercise.
“No evidence presented was not” – he said, stressing that the exercise was attended by 12,7 thousand persons, as announced in advance. “The paradox of the situation is that we see the desire of the Alliance to understand the essence of what is happening, but on the other hand an equally strong reluctance and unwillingness to provide an adequate meeting site. I am convinced that if I sat down at the negotiating table with both sides of the war, 90% of the issues that arise at the level of ambassadors, simply would not exist”, – he said.
“At the end of the exercises are Russian troops in Belarus there, but American troops in Eastern Europe was greater than two, and possibly four times,” – said Grushko. He reminded that to date NATO has “strengthened its presence in Eastern Europe, four battalion groups deployed one armored and one aviation brigade of the United States, and also provided warehousing in the region of arms, sufficient to deploy another brigade”.
“Behind the smokescreen of demonizing the teachings of the “West” somehow gone unnoticed multinational exercise “Avrora” on the territory of Sweden and the teachings in Poland, where worked out, including, defensive, counteroffensive and offensive tasks,” he said. No confidence-building measures “will not defuse the situation in Europe, while NATO is containing Russia”.
In response to a direct question of journalists, Stoltenberg acknowledged that Russia fully withdraw all troops participating in the maneuvers. “According to available information, all the equipment and troops were withdrawn. No evidence that Russian troops remained in Belarus, we have,” he said, refuting numerous assertions of the Western media and politicians, who argued that Russia could use these maneuvers to change deployment.
Joint exercises of the Armed forces of Belarus and Russia “West-2017” was held from 14 to 20 September. The maneuvers took place at six landfills and two areas in Belarus and three sites in Russia. They were involved about 12.7 thousand soldiers and about 70 aircraft and helicopters, and 680 pieces of equipment, including about 250 tanks, 200 guns, rocket systems of volley fire and mortars. Watched the exercise by the representatives of seven States, including from the NATO.
Russia takes all necessary measures to ensure transparency carried out by its Armed forces exercises, all the accusations of lack of military transparency in Europe NATO must address only, said the permanent representative of Russia to NATO.
“Russia is the champion for the adoption of various international inspection and inspection missions, so all the accusations of lack of military transparency in Europe NATO must address only myself,” he said.
“Talking about military transparency is impossible in terms of breaking any tools that worked on this, including regular meetings of the Committee of military representatives and various groups of the Council NATO – Russia, which were frozen at the initiative of the NATO” – the diplomat added.
The Afghan impasse
To discuss Afghan problems, the NRC was attended by the Director of the Second Asia Department of the Russian foreign Ministry Zamir Kabulov. He stressed that the situation in the security sphere in the country is rapidly degraded, despite all the efforts of NATO, the production and export from this country of drugs continues to grow. According to Kabulov, the plans of NATO to expand the size of its non-combat mission “Resolute support” (Resolute Support) in Afghanistan will not be able to reverse the situation.
According to the Secretary General of the Alliance, the situation in Ukraine “remains fragile.” “Violations of the ceasefire continue. Heavy weapons still on the line of contact and access for observers Special monitoring mission of the OSCE] is still difficult,” – said Stoltenberg.
However, he said that he welcomes the efforts of the parties on the implementation of the Minsk agreements. “NATO welcomes the diplomatic efforts to implement Minsk agreements by all the parties,” he said.
In response to Grushko emphasized that NATO and the NRC is not playing or should play role in settling Ukraine. “Neither NATO nor the Council Russia – NATO will not play and should not play role in settling Ukraine. So we had only a concise discussion on Ukraine”, – he stressed.
According to Grushko, the Russian side drew the attention of NATO to the “efforts of Kiev to destroy the process of implementation of the Minsk agreements, violations of the ceasefire and the adoption in Ukraine of the law on language.” He stressed that the initiative for placement on Donbass the UN mission “was raised on a tangent”, because the NRC is “not the format in which to discuss this subject.” “The UN security Council is our package of proposals, and there goes the discussion”, – concluded the Russian diplomat.