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​Retired Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, former commander of US European Command, speaks at an Atlantic Council event in Washington, D.C., on June 8, 2016. Screenshot photo.

​The NATO alliance needs to establish a line of communication with Russia soon, retired Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, the former commander of US European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, said Wednesday. Asked about Russia talking themselves into a “pre-war frenzy” and potential use of tactical nuclear weapons to de-escalate a conflict at an Atlantic Council event in Washington, D.C., Breedlove said not having quality communications risks more problematic developments. “It may be ... frustrating in the beginning, but really I don’t think have any choice at this point,” he said. “We need to move out. I’m not a military man, but I’ll use those words.” Breedlove said established talks to prevent incidents at sea, air, and land, could be the mechanism to start discussions, but noted full alliance participation would make it difficult to focus the discussions.