NATO’s relationship with Russia based on dual-track approach – Stoltenberg
NATO will maintain a dual-track approach to relations with Russia, which, on the one hand, provides strong deterrence and defense and, on the other hand, keeps the channels of dialogue open as Russia remains a neighbor of the Alliance, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said.
He said this on Monday, June 8, during a video conference on NATO’s development until 2030, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.
“NATO’s relationship with Russia is based on what we call a dual-track approach. We have seen a more assertive Russia. We have seen a Russia being willing to use military force against neighbors in Georgia, in Ukraine, investing heavily in new, modern capabilities, including new nuclear capabilities. They are deploying now a new missile called SSC-8, a missile, which can reach European cities, reduces the threshold for a potential use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict and led to the demise of the INF Treaty, a treaty that banned all intermediate-range weapons,” Stoltenberg said.
He stressed that Russia was heavily modernizing its nuclear arsenals and also adjusted its doctrines. He said that NATO had responded to this not by mirroring what Russia is doing, but by making sure that the Alliance has credible deterrence and defense.
“That’s the best way to prevent a conflict, is to remove any room for doubt, any room for miscalculation about NATO’s readiness, willingness to protect all Allies. And as long as we provide that deterrence, there will be no conflict, no attack. So that’s one part: what we call deterrence and defense, and make sure that we continue to provide that,” Stoltenberg said.
At the same time, referring to his own experience in the Norwegian government, he said that it was possible to talk to the Russians and to actually make agreements with them.
“We did that, Norway-Russia for many, many years on military issues, on energy, on border issues and many other issues, environment, fisheries, and that was not despite of NATO, but it was because of NATO. NATO provided a platform for us to work with Russia,” Stoltenberg said.
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