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NATO talk of incident prevention mechanism is mere words, says Russian diplomat

February 10, 11:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Instead of giving up on a buildup of military presence in Eastern Europe, Russia hears an offer to help NATO cope with the possible negative consequences tof such a build-up
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MOSCOW, February 9. /TASS/. NATO goes no further than speculating about the need to create a certain mechanism to prevent dangerous incidents in mid-air and at sea, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov told TASS on Wednesday when Russia marks Diplomat’s Day.

"Now and then we hear from the leadership of NATO and its member countries that it is necessary to keep open communication channels between the military representatives of Russia and the Alliance," the diplomat said.

"However, the paradoxical feature of these appeals is that it was the NATO side that took a unilateral decision that remains in force from April 2014 to fully suspend practical cooperation, also military, with our country," Meshkov said.

"It is evident that by definition no episodic telephone calls can replace a comprehensive dialog between the military," the diplomat went on. "We do have communication channels. We were not the ones to cut them," he added.

However, "the administration of the chief military representative keeps functioning at the Russian Permanent Mission to NATO, although in a reduced mode because of NATO’s action," he said. "So the Alliance’s headquarters has the address to contact," he added.

"We heard speculations by leadership of NATO and its member countries about a need to create a certain mechanism to prevent dangerous incidents in mid-air and at sea even before the tragic incident with a Russian warplane in Syria," Meshkov said. "However, NATO does not go further than talking about this as of yet, and the Alliance has not referred to us with any concrete ideas and proposals," he said.

"And here everything is also turned upside down," he said. "Instead of giving up on a double quick buildup of military presence of the bloc close to the Russian borders, we hear an offer to help NATO cope with these possible negative consequences that are a direct result of their own military activity," Meshkov added.

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