A Russia-NATO Council meeting at the level of defense ministers will most likely not happen in June as hoped, a source in the Russian mission at the NATO said on Tuesday.
The first meeting between Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and his NATO counterparts since the brief Russia-Georgia war in 2008 was tentatively scheduled for June 11-12 in Brussels.
"The meeting is unlikely to take place due to conflicting schedules of the Russian minister and NATO," the source said.
Relations between Moscow and the Western bloc went sour during the conflict in South Ossetia when Russia sent troops into South Ossetia to repel Georgia's attempt to retake the breakaway republic by force. After five days of fighting the Russian troops ousted Georgian forces from the region, which has since been recognized as independent by Moscow.
NATO accused Russia of disproportionate use of military force and froze cooperation with Moscow. In response Russia froze several of joint programs with NATO.
NATO foreign ministers decided at a meeting in Brussels in March 2009 to restore full-scale cooperation between the alliance and Russia.
A meeting between Russian and NATO defense ministers would be another step in normalizing ties.
BRUSSELS, May 25 (RIA Novosti)