The Russia-NATO Council may resume its work by the end of this year, a senior Russian military official said on Tuesday.

Russia-NATO contacts through the council were suspended in August, during Russia''s war with Georgia over South Ossetia.

Gen. Nikolai Makarov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, said he had discussed the issue with the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Michael Mullen, and that the U.S. will make its position clear in November or December.

He also reiterated that Russia is considering ways of responding to U.S. plans to deploy a missile shield in Central Europe.

"We have to take measures relating to the deployment of missile defense system elements in the Czech Republic and Poland," he said.

Relations between NATO and Russia have sunk to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War due to the Russia-Georgia conflict and Moscow''s subsequent recognition of the Georgian rebel regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.