Updated 6:53 p.m. Moscow Time
BRUSSELS, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – NATO’s new Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that the alliance was ready to consider a proposal to convene the Russia-NATO Сouncil if it gets such a request.
"There has been no concrete request for convening the Council, but if such a request is put forward, of course we will have an open mind considering that," Stoltenberg said, noting that while NATO has suspended practical cooperation with Russia, it has "kept the chance for political contact open."
In April, NATO suspended cooperation with Russia over Moscow’s alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis, the claim Russia has repeatedly denied.
"We still aspire, as we have done for many years, for a constructive and cooperative relationship with Russia," Stoltenberg stressed.
"Cooperation with nations and organizations around the world increases security for all of us," NATO's new Secretary General noted.
Former Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg took up the post of NATO Secretary General on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov said in an interview with RIA Novosti that Moscow may consider convening a Russia-NATO council after the alliance's new secretary general takes office.
Unlike his predecessor, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Stoltenberg has a more flexible approach toward Russia, having developed a positive working relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the time he served as Norway's prime minister.