21 Oct 2021 17:28

Stoltenberg's remarks on NATO's being open to dialogue with Moscow make no practical sense - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. Oct 21 (Interfax) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's remarks on the alliance's openness to dialogue with Russia are not backed up in practice and make no sense, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.

"We've heard another remark by Mr. Stoltenberg on supposed willingness to discuss security matters with Russia. There's nothing behind these remarks in practical terms, and it seems to me, in principle, that they don't make much sense," Zakharova said at a press briefing on Thursday.

NATO is expelling Russian diplomats and is saying at the same time that it wishes to talk to Moscow, while the Russian diplomats "were accredited with NATO exactly in order to maintain such dialogue," she said.

"We just can't take seriously everything we hear, not only from NATO as a bloc, but also from the secretary of this organization," Zakharova said.

NATO and Stoltenberg personally "have driven our relations into a state where they have never been before, even in the harshest Cold War times, and their unwillingness to look for ways toward de-escalation together has virtually buried the NATO-Russia Council," Zakharova said.

"In these conditions, it's both impossible and pointless to work together with the alliance on challenges and threats to regional security. The alliance itself has rejected any practical cooperation and contacts at the military level with Russia," she said.

Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that NATO remained open to a dialogue with Russia, including via the NATO-Russia Council, even despite Moscow's decision to close its mission to the alliance.