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Andrey Kortunov

Ph.D. in History, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council, RIAC member

In an interview with Sputnik, political analyst Andrey Kortunov,  head of the Russian International Affairs Council, expressed hope that at Wednesday's session of the Russia-NATO Council , the alliance will demonstrate its willingness to engage in full-blown bilateral dialogue.

The interview came after the NATO summit, which took place in the Polish capital of Warsaw last week, during which the alliance agreed to deploy its four battalions to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland. The member countries also decided to launch a European missile defense shield and bolster their presence in the Black Sea.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in turn that relations with Moscow will be based "on defense and dialogue." For their part, the leaders of the NATO member countries said that NATO is committed to a constructive relationship with Russia, but has made it dependent on Moscow's actions.

In this regard, the July 13 session of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels could clarify the alliance's policy on cooperation with Moscow, according to Andrey Kortunov.

"This meeting will be held because apart from the declared strategy of deterrence, NATO will hopefully show its declared willingness to maintain a dialogue. In this sense, experts and politicians wonder whether this dialogue will be developed during the Brussels gathering," he said.

He added that given the current deep differences between NATO and Russia, "the very fact of the development of a bilateral dialogue will mean progress."

Source: Sputnik News

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