In its attempt to defuse tensions prevailing in Europe, Nato is holding an ambassador-level meeting with Russia in Brussels on Wednesday (13 July). The meeting between the two parties is the first since April and the second after almost a two-year interval since the Ukraine crisis.

Discussions with Moscow would focus on the decisions taken by Nato at the Warsaw Summit held on 8-9 July. The 28-member alliance had earlier decided to send four battalions totalling around 4,000 soldiers to Poland and the Baltic states.

Russia's claim of Nato's increased military activities near its borders is "threatening peace in central Europe" will also be discussed at the meet. Meanwhile, Moscow also announced that it would elaborate on its plans of improving airspace safety over the Baltic Sea and the risks of the US missile defence system that Nato affirmed was operational at the summit in Poland.

"Allies and Russia will discuss three topics – the crisis in Ukraine, military transparency and the security situation in Afghanistan," Nato spokeswoman Carmen Romero said, according to AFP.

She added that the 13 July meeting would indicate that Nato has kept its promise of indulging in dialogue with Russia.

"Nato does not pose a threat to Russia. We do not seek confrontation. We continue to aspire to a constructive relationship with Russia, when Russia's actions make that possible," Romero said.
Russia has always been highly critical of Nato's decision on Ukraine and other issues and their last set of talks in April ended in "profound disagreements". It had also warned Nato of adverse reaction by deploying forces in its former Soviet backyard.

Crimea Russia
A billboard with a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin is displayed on a street in Kerch, Crimea. The board reads: "Crimea. Russia. Forever" REUTERS/Andrew Osborn