Russia, NATO to hold first high-level meetings in five years in Baku
The strategy was meant to emphasize to the Russians that European borders are inviolable.
But now, later this month, the Supreme Allied Commander European Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti will meet with the chief of general staff for Russia's Armed Forces Gen. Valery Gerasimov in Baku.
In addition in the near future additional contacts with the Kremlin are scheduled, including a meeting between U.S. Special Representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker and senior aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin Vladislav Surkov, as well as U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon holding talks with Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov.
"This is all part of the normal course of diplomacy and it should come as no surprise to anyone that there are many issues that we need to discuss with the Russians," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told.
Victoria Nuland, the former Obama administration official who was responsible for enforcing the Russia isolation policy, said she supports the talks, saying, "These channels are especially vital at a time when relations at the leader level are so unpredictable."