The NATO-Russia Council (NRC) was established in 2002 in order to build mutual trust between the parties through ongoing dialogue. However, the dialogue ended for the second time since its inception in 2019, and the culmination of tensions was the case of Russian representatives accused of espionage in October 2021, to which Moscow’s response was to suspend the work of Russia’s presence in NATO. At the end of the year, Moscow released a list of its demands, including that Ukraine and Georgia would not be able to join NATO, also that NATO would stop its eastern expansion and not involve troops near the Russian border.
The demands were firmly rejected by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, while NATO members were divided over the resumption of dialogue with Russia. The NRC met again on 12 January 2022 in Brussels to ease tensions at the Ukrainian border and restore Russia-NATO relations.
Stoltenberg confirmed at the press conference that NATO will continue its open-door policy, leaving the possibility of joining the Alliance and maintaining the presence of troops in the eastern part of the Alliance. Although there was no breakthrough, Stoltenberg stressed the importance of further negotiations.