NATO general “cautiously optimistic” about possibility of improving NATO-Russia ties

The chief of NATO's Military Committee, General Petr Pavel, has told the Russian news agency TASS he is “cautiously optimistic” with regard to the possibility of improving relations between NATO and Russia.

Asked whether he believes that NATO and Russia can overcome the present period of tense relations and leave behind them the legacy of the Cold War, General Pavel said such a chance existed, but it needed developing a more intense dialogue on specific issues. He said the present agenda during bilateral contacts was vague and a fresh impetus was needed to move the relationship forward.

Relations between NATO and Russia soured after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 when NATO broke off military cooperation with Russia.