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NATO-Russia Council To Convene Talks About Ukraine On December 19

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (file photo)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says envoys from the alliance will meet with Russian diplomats on December 19 to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine between Kyiv's forces and Russia-backed separatists.

The meeting of the NATO-Russia Council brings together Russia's top diplomat to the alliance and ambassadors from NATO-member countries.

NATO has suspended all practical cooperation with Russia since Moscow's seizure and illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula.

But Stoltenberg says that talking with the Kremlin is necessary in order to avoid misunderstandings that could lead to broader conflict.

Stoltenberg said on December 15 that "when tensions run high, as today, it is even more important to have direct dialogue with Russia."

The December 19 meeting would be only the third time the NATO-Russia Council has met during 2016.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP