According to what a NATO official confirmed, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has decided to convene this council on January 12 and that the alliance is in contact with Moscow on the issue.

The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that it had received the proposal, but added that it was still being studied, with the order and date of the talks still to be finalised.

However, “we are open to dialogue, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova assured, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

The concentration of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine has been causingconcernin the West for weeks. For its part, Russia is demandingsecurity guaranteesfrom Western countries, including a nun equivocal guarantee that there will be no admission of Ukraine to NATO.

The Agency rejects this request. However, Stoltenberg has repeatedly expressed his intention to discuss all issues on which there are differences in the NATO-Russia Council.

This group last met in July 2019. Since then, all attempts to set a date for new talks have proved fruitless.

One of the reasons is that Russia does not want discussions on the armed conflict in Ukraine to take place within the Council, setting a condition that especially the NATO member states in Eastern Europe do not even want to hear.