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On 19 April at the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at the level of foreign ministers in Brussels, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis drew attention to the ammunition explosions that Russia was carrying out in the Kaliningrad region close to the Lithuanian border, and proposed to launch a NATO project which would suggest alternative ways to liquidate old ammunition in the region.

Ažubalis welcomed and stressed the need to continue implementing a joint NATO-Russia project aimed to protect the Baltic Sea from oil spills. Scientists from Lithuania and Russia take part in this project.
During the discussion with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Ažubalis invited Russia to improve transparency on its tactical nuclear weapons and criticized the military training operations, labelled ‘Kavkaz-2012’. According to the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, such training exercises do not increase stability in the Caucasus region.

The meeting also discussed practical NATO-Russia cooperation in Afghanistan on counter-narcotics, counter-terrorism and counter-piracy, and coordination of rescue operations.

“Joint NATO-Russia cooperation projects have a positive effect on relations, bringing concrete, practical benefits. However, Russia should increase transparency of some issues and be more engaged. Lithuania is concerned over a build-up of offensive military capacities in the Kaliningrad region,” Ažubalis said.