Courtesy of The Baltic Times   February 17, 2016

Estonian Foreign Minister, Marina Kaljurand, believes it will be difficult to restore relations between NATO and Russia at ambassadorial level, following remarks made by Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, at the recent Munich Security Conference.

“After the Munich Security Conference I cannot see how communication between NATO and Russia at ambassadorial level can be restored,” Kaljurand told a press conference on February 17, 2016.

“The West and Russia have very different positions,” she explained. “Russia said unambiguously that it will not start discussing Ukraine or Crimea with us [the West].

“Our position has always been that contacts with the other side are necessary, and communication with the other side is necessary.

“However, you always have to know what’s on the table, what we wish to achieve, and the topics that are important to us as the European Union, and the West.

“Maybe these are not the most pleasant proposals for the other side.

“After those speeches in Munich where it was effectively said by the Russian representatives that we have reached the phase of a new Cold War, I simply cannot see how this kind of a dialogue could take place in the framework of the NATO-Russia Council,” she concluded.

Speaking at the summit, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev commented on February 15, that relations between Russia and the West have plunged the world into “a new Cold War.”

At the end of January 2016, NATO outlined that at the end of January that it could resume communication with Russia to improve exchanges of military information and avoid misunderstandings.

The plan received a welcome from Russia, whose representatives expressed hope that a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council could take place in the near future.

Friday, February 12, saw Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, discuss bilateral relations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

However, neither party announced the outcome of the meeting.

The NATO-Russia Council was established in 2002. The alliance decided to suspend its work in 2014 due to the Kremlin’s aggression in Ukraine.