A top-level meeting between NATO and Russia will take place in the next two weeks, the first since the Crimean crisis two years ago. The talks are scheduled to take place in Brussels. Ukraine, Afghanistan and terrorism will be on the agenda.
The NATO-Russia Council (NRC) was established in 2002. NATO leaders and Russian officials still meet regularly outside the framework of the NRC, but relations have been strained since the events of ealry 2014.
“This meeting is the continuation of our political dialogue, as agreed by NATO Heads of State and Government,” the organisation said in a statement. “At the same time, there will be no return to business as usual until Russia again respects international law.”
NATO has strongly opposed Russia’s actions in eastern Ukraine in recent years, which have included annexing the territory of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine after a highly controversial referendum in March 2014.
"The NATO-Russia Council will discuss the crisis in and around Ukraine and the need to fully implement the Minsk agreements," said NATO, referring to the peace talks agreed in Belarus's capital, which are yet to be fully implemented.
In the South Caucasus, Armenia is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, a Russian-led counterweight to NATO. Georgia has been designated by NATO as an “aspirant country,” and 77% of voters supported membership in a non-binding referendum in 2008. Azerbaijan has close relations with neither organisation.
PHOTO: A NATO summit