After a long confrontation between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) over the Ukraine crisis, a military hotline was initiated to deal with any possible friction between the two sides with tension likely to mount, the Russian news agency Sputnik reported. As sources indicated, the red phones were set up to open communication links between NATO military command and Russia's Ministry of Defense. The red phones provide emergency communication links between countries to prevent mounting tensions from turning into war.
The red phone initiative resembles the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 when military-to-military communication links were initiated in order to prevent any possibility of a war between the United States and Russia.
Ukraine has become a major area of conflict between NATO and Russia. Both sides have accused each other of violating the cease-fire agreement. Russia has faced sanctions, as it allegedly continues to provide support to rebels in eastern Ukraine.
There has been a strained relationship between NATO and Russia due to conflicting interests, and Russia remains the biggest challenge for the North Atlantic alliance. Russia also considers NATO to be the country's number-one national security threat. Russian aggression in Ukraine has resulted in the deterioration of the post-Cold War security order in Europe that had been protected under the NATO-Russia founding act signed in 1997, the aim of which was to build peace and security in the Euro-Atlantic area. The Russian military presence inside Ukraine's border was seen as a breach of the principles of the founding act and a violation of international law, national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The months-long crisis in Ukraine's east is still unresolved despite a series of mediating talks. The mediating efforts between the European Union, Ukraine and Russia have led to no significant improvement so far to end the months-long pro-Russian separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine. Russia still rejects the charges that the Moscow government has backed, armed and financed pro-Russian separatist groups in the embattled east of the country, while calling the conflict-torn region a part of Russian territory. As the sporadic clashes still continue, the suffering of civilians from the months-long crisis has led to worsening humanitarian conditions. The number of those killed has reached more than 6,500, according to U.N. figures. The number of affected people is reportedly 5.2 million, including around 2 million children.
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