NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg calls for all sides involved in eastern Ukraine to ensure that the Minsk agreements are fully observed and urges Russia to stop supporting Kiev's armed opponents.
Speaking to journalists following a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Brussels on May 19, Stoltenberg said the two had discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine and the need to fully observe the Minsk agreements, stop firing, and withdraw heavy weapons.
While NATO has stopped practical partnership with Russia, it has not severed all contacts with it, Stoltenberg said. He mentioned, in particular, his previous meeting with Lavrov on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in February.
Stoltenberg also emphasized the importance of keeping communications channels open to avoid misunderstanding.
NATO urges Russia to be more transparent in conducting surprise military exercises, which, in the alliance's view, reduce predictability on its eastern borders, he said.
Russia should demonstrate more openness in its military activities to avoid possible misunderstanding, Stoltenberg said.
It is important to do everything possible to avoid incidents and situations that could get out of control, and therefore NATO concentrates its efforts on making all of its actions absolutely transparent as regards to the location and time of its exercises, he said.
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