German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says Russia and NATO are making progress in restoring military contacts that were suspended as the Ukraine crisis intensified.

"I'm glad that, after the situation we had last year, we are now in the process of re-establishing this level of information," Steinmeier said at a news conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Volgograd, Russia.

The comments come days after a German newspaper reported the creation of a NATO-Russia military hotline. NATO officials, however, say there's been no major switch beyond a change in internal alliance procedures.

Steinmeier was in Volgograd for ceremonies to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Earlier Steinmeier and Lavrov laid wreaths at the memorial to Soviet soldiers who died in the Battle of Stalingrad.