NATO said Tuesday that Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has scheduled a meeting next week between Western ambassadors and Russian officials to try to defuse tensions over Moscow’s troop buildup along Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia.
The NATO-Russia Council meeting is set for January 12 in Brussels, two days after U.S. and Russian officials open bilateral security talks in Geneva.
Western allies fear that Moscow, which has amassed 100,000 troops along Ukraine’s eastern flank, is preparing to invade the one-time Soviet republic. Russia is seeking assurances that NATO won’t accede to Ukraine’s request for membership in the West’s military alliance and will pull back its military involvement in central and eastern Europe.
NATO—now with 30 countries, including the United States, Canada and 28 in Europe—said its foreign ministers would hold a video conference on Friday in preparation for next week’s meetings with Moscow.