NATO and Russia haven’t been on the best of terms in recent years. But on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it was willing to let bygones be bygones and start anew with its former Cold War adversary.
“We need to build normal relations with NATO and renew what we had before,” Andrei Kelin, the Foreign Ministry’s Department of European Cooperation head, told Russian news agency Interfax. Kelin did not reiterate the standard Russian claims of NATO aggression. Instead, he went on to say that being a member of club NATO was “rational” because of the political benefits of the alliance and the cash it saved smaller members on military spending.
It’s a surprising about-face given Russia’s penchant for vilifying NATO. In early November, for example, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Russia would retaliate against NATO troop deployments in Eastern Europe.
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