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Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, said Moscow is warning NATO against any actions that may lead to a further escalation of tensions.

“We warn NATO allies against imprudent actions that could lead to greater escalation,” the Deputy Minister added.

The Deputy Minister asserted that the only legitimate course of action for NATO members right now is to assist in halting the damaging and irresponsible road they are on.

Ryabkov stated that there are now “no contacts between Russia and NATO and that their future is contingent on NATO’s actions”.

NATO has been attempting to forge a partnership with Russia for more than three decades, developing communication and practical cooperation in areas of mutual interest. However practical cooperation has been discontinued since 2014.

NATO has attempted to develop a partnership and seek communication with Russia since the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, especially through the NATO-Russia Council (NRC), a platform for consultation on security matters and cooperation.

In April 2014, however, NATO suspended all practical civilian and military cooperation with Russia in response to Russia’s actions against Ukraine.

Political and military communication channels are kept open to enable the sharing of information on subjects of mutual interest and concern, as well as to avoid misunderstandings and improve predictability.

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