BRUSSELS, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- NATO allies and Russia on Monday had "a frank and substantial discussion" on the Ukraine crisis and military transparency, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
Stoltenberg made the remarks in a statement following a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council here, which was the third time the two sides have met this year.
Stoltenberg said they talked on issues of importance to their common security. "In times of tension, dialogue is more important than ever," he said.
According to him, NATO allies and Russia had "profound disagreements" on the crisis in and around Ukraine and the situation in eastern Ukraine remained deeply concerning.
Stressing that the Minsk Agreements provided a plan for the resolution of conflict in eastern Ukraine, Stoltenberg called on all signatories to fully comply with their commitments.
Regarding military transparency and risk reduction, Stoltenberg said, "As a result of our discussion at the NATO-Russia Council in July, we had briefings by representatives of the Baltic Sea Project Team and the International Civil Aviation Organization."
NATO and Russia also briefed each other on information regarding military exercises.
"Allies and Russia hold different views. And our meeting does not indicate a return to business as usual," Stoltenberg said, but added that, "without talking, we cannot solve our differences and improve mutual understanding."
NATO suspended practical cooperation with Russia in April 2014 in response to the Ukraine crisis, and the NATO-Russia Council was the only channel left open.
The NATO-Russia Council, which was established in 2002, was conceived as a mechanism for consultation, consensus-building, cooperation, joint decision and joint action.