A news report claimed earlier that some members of the alliance had complained about communication between a senior NATO official and Russia
Russia's top military commander, Valery Gerasimov, did not communicate with Rob Bauer, the chair of NATO's Military Committee, contrary to what some Western media outlets have claimed, the Russian Defense Ministry has stated.
Reports about "typical" conversations between the two military officials and an agreement on the "safe passage of ships in the Black Sea" are "an invention from the start to the end," a statement released on Wednesday said.
Earlier in the day, the news outlet EurActiv, which specializes in covering EU affairs, cited a NATO source as saying that some Eastern European members of the alliance "raised their reservations" about alleged contact between Bauer and Gerasimov.
The source claimed that the two had regular exchanges aimed at deescalating the conflict, particularly in the Black Sea, and that the parties had agreed to "be careful" to avoid accidents. Unnamed members of the alliance questioned the practice, but others said Bauer was entitled to have his channel of communication with Russia.
The Dutch admiral served as the chief of defense in his home country before becoming the chair of NATO's Military Committee in June last year. The Military Committee is composed of the defense chiefs of all member states, while Bauer has the role of the topmost adviser on military strategy to the North Atlantic Council, NATO's decision-making body. General Gerasimov heads the Russian General Staff, a position equivalent to that of a chief of defense in NATO states.
The EurActiv source claimed that the US, Türkiye, and nations in western and southern Europe "fortunately" countered the push by the UK, Eastern European, and Scandinavian members for "a zero-sum approach" in relations with Russia.
Berlin's role in the alliance has been reduced to virtually nothing, the outlet claimed. "Germans pay, give and don't speak," the source was quoted as saying. Nevertheless, NATO members were mostly on the same page in terms of supporting Ukraine, as long as it didn't compromise their own national security, according to the same tip.
The report said that applicants Finland and Sweden were unlikely to join the US-led bloc before June next year, when Türkiye holds national elections. Ankara blocked their accession, claiming that the two nations were not committed to fighting terrorist groups threatening Turkish national security.