NATO, Russia Hold Rare Talks Amid Military Exercises

NATO statement reports 'open exchange' of views

On Wednesday, NATO and Russian envoys engaged in a rare round of talks. This was a particularly key time for such talks, coming amid mounting tensions and each holding military exercises off the coast of Norway, NATO’s being the largest since the Cold War.

NATO is pushing Russia for specifics on their missile systems. The US claims those systems violate the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. This is likely irrelevant, since the US already withdrew from the treaty last week.

NATO issued a statement following the talks saying there was an “open exchange of views” on several issues, including both military exercises ongoing and the tense situation in Ukraine. They did not offer specifics.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says both sides agreed that the INF is important, and he demanded that Russia quickly comply with US demands. It’s not clear that could happen, however, as the Trump Administration withdrew from the treaty and made no public demands. The administration subsequently demanded Russia (and China, who was never a signatory) to keep complying with INF, but did not indicate that they would return to the treaty at any rate.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.