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NATO foreign ministers to hold extraordinary meeting on Friday

Foreign ministers to discuss European security ahead of next week’s key talks between NATO, Russia.

NATO foreign ministers will hold an extraordinary meeting on Friday to discuss Russia’s military buildup and Europe’s security, the military bloc announced on Tuesday.

“NATO Foreign Ministers will discuss Russia’s military build-up in and around Ukraine and broader European security issues,” said a NATO statement.

The top diplomats will hold a videoconference chaired by NATO Secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg.

The extraordinary meeting comes ahead of a series of key diplomatic events between international partners and Russia.

On Jan. 9-10, US and Russian delegations led by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov will meet in Geneva.

On Jan. 12, the NATO-Russia Council will convene for the first time since NATO suspended in 2014 all practical cooperation with Moscow because of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

On Jan. 13, Russian officials will hold talks with representatives of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Last year was marked by high tensions between NATO and Russia over spying allegations and Moscow’s continued military buildup in and around Ukraine.

In order to normalize relations, Russia handed two draft agreements on European security guarantees to the US and NATO last month.

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