After the meeting of the NATO–Russia Council on 20 April, Foreign Minister Steinmeier made the following statement in Berlin:
It is good that the NATO–Russia Council met today for the first time in nearly two years. I myself was a proponent – also during the difficult escalation of the situation in Ukraine – of us keeping open the channels of communication with Russia.
We expected this would not be an entirely easy meeting in a harmonious atmosphere – also because the ambassadors discussed several controversial issues, such as Ukraine and military activities.
However, it is precisely because there are many difficult issues that this dialogue is inherently valuable and should be continued. That is the only way for us to develop a common understanding of problems and the necessary solutions.
As recent incidents in the Baltic Sea have shown, it is particularly important for us to reduce the risk of unintentional escalation, as well as work to increase transparency and build trust.