NATO contact claims media ‘invention’ – Moscow – RT Russia and the former Soviet Union
The Russian Defense Ministry has denied allegations that General Valery Gerasimov communicated with a senior official in the US-led bloc.
Russia’s top military commander Valery Gerasimov did not communicate with NATO Military Committee Chairman Rob Bauer, contrary to Western media reports, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Reports on « typical » conversations between the two military officials and an agreement on the « the safe passage of ships in the Black Sea » are « an invention from start to finish », said a ministry statement issued on Wednesday.
Earlier, European media outlet EurActiv quoted a NATO source as saying the two had regular exchanges aimed at defusing the conflict, especially in the Black Sea, and that the sides had agreed to « be careful » to avoid accidents.
The source added that some Eastern European members of the bloc « raised their reservations » about the alleged contact between Bauer and Gerasimov.
The Dutch admiral served as the Netherlands’ chief of defense before becoming chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, which includes the chiefs of defense of all member states. While Bauer is the top military strategy adviser to the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s decision-making body, General Gerasimov leads the Russian general staff, a position equivalent to that of a chief of the defense in NATO states.
The EurActiv source claimed that the United States, Turkey and Western and Southern European countries « fortunately » countered a push by members of the British bloc, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia to « a zero-sum approach » in relations with Russia.
Berlin’s role in the alliance has been reduced to virtually nothing, according to the outlet. « The Germans pay, give and do not speak » the source was quoted as saying. Nonetheless, NATO members were mostly on the same page in terms of supporting Ukraine, as long as it didn’t compromise their own national security.
The report also claimed Finland and Sweden were unlikely to join the US-led bloc until June next year, when Turkey holds national elections. Ankara blocked their membership, saying the two nations were not committed to fighting terrorist groups threatening Turkish national security.