NATO officials say the alliance secretary-general will hold talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the first such contacts since they met in January.

According to one NATO official, secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg and Lavrov will meet Tuesday in Brussels, and are expected to discuss NATO-Russia relations, including military-to-military lines of communications and the need for transparency in military activities.

The NATO official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with alliance custom, said the talks will also address the importance of fully implementing the Minsk agreements, which are designed to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

NATO accuses Russia of backing the pro-Moscow rebels in Ukraine's east, and relations between the alliance and Russia have dropped to their lowest point since the Cold War.

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