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NATO, Russia Hold Talks On Risk Reduction

NATO and Russia officials have held talks on "ways to increase transparency and risk reduction," the military alliance says.

A statement says NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow discussed these issues on September 15 with Russia's NATO ambassador, Aleksandr Grushko.

The statement said Vershbow told Grushko that NATO was ready to continue the dialogue, but that there was "no change" in policy toward Russia.

"Our practical cooperation remains suspended following Russia's aggressive actions against Ukraine," it said. "At the same time, we decided to keep channels of political dialogue open."

The statement added that NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg "looks forward to discussing these issues and next steps" with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov "in the near future."

The meeting could come next week, when Stoltenberg and Lavrov are scheduled to be in New York for the annual session of the UN General Assembly.

Relations between NATO and Russia have reached their lowest point since the Cold War over Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and its role in the military conflict in eastern Ukraine.

With reporting by AFP and AP
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