German FM Says Revival of NATO Russia Council Around the Corner
© AP Photo EUROPE 16.01.2016
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that both the West and Russia are interested in the resumption of such format of negotiations.
The politician stressed that he expected a speedy revival of the NATO-Russia Council.
“I believe that in some time we could propose to return to the talks in Brussels at ambassadorial level,” the politician told the newspaper. “Putin also showed interest in the return to institutionalized discussion formats with the West.”
Steinmeier went on to say that he already tried to promote the idea of restarting the NATO-Russia Council. Despite “some discontent,” he still had “more support than expected,” the politician argued.
The NATO-Russia Council’s work has been largely suspended after NATO foreign ministers issued a statement in April 2014 condemning Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
During the interview, Steinmeier also gave a pessimistic assessment of the situation in the EU, noting that it needs to find a compromise with the UK amid London’s plans to withdraw from the Union.
The German foreign minister also said that he is going to pay a working visit to Warsaw next week, “to eliminate confusion in the German-Polish relations.” Steinmeier is planning to discuss such issues as the difficulties with the constitutional court and media policy.
“It is important to prevent the alienation and mutual instrumentalization of history,” Steinmeier concluded.