NATO allies called on Russia to withdraw its military forces from Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday. The head of NATO added that “there is a real threat of conflict in Europe, but the alliance will do everything to prevent it.”
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There are differences of opinion between Russia and NATO about Ukraine and they will not be easy to break, NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday after the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels.
– There are significant differences between NATO and Russia – he stressed at the conference after the talks at NATO headquarters.
– Our differences will not be easy to eliminate, but it is a positive sign that all NATO allies and Russia sat at the same table and dealt with substantive topics – he pointed out.
Stoltenberg stressed that NATO reaffirmed its open door policy. He also informed that Russia has no veto over whether Ukraine can become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance. He also reported that NATO allies had called on Russia to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine.
The head of NATO also revealed that the alliance called on the Russians to withdraw their military units from Georgia and Moldova.
He stressed NATO’s position that “there will be no compromises on the fundamental principles.” He also pointed out that the idea that NATO enlargement is an aggressive act is completely untrue.
The head of NATO also said that he had offered Russia further meetings on this matter, and Russia replied that it was not ready for it.
NATO has made it clear that we are ready to schedule a series of meetings on a wide range of topics, including missiles and the peer review of missile limits in Europe. (…) The Russian side made it clear that it was not ready for it, he said after the meeting.
He also indicated that both sides had an “open discussion” on many topics and that the meeting was useful.
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NATO could redirect additional troops to the territory of its eastern allies if Russia again uses force against Ukraine, Stoltenberg said.
– If Russia again uses force against Ukraine and continues to invade Ukraine, we must seriously consider the need to further increase our presence in the eastern part of the alliance – he added.
He stated that there was a real risk of a new armed conflict and added that NATO would “do everything to prevent” such a scenario.