NATO Secretary-General affirms alliance’s readiness for either dialogue or aggression from Russia
NATO is not ruling out a Russian invasion of Ukraine and is prepared to provide support to the country, the alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with German broadcaster Deutsche Welle on Jan. 13.
He said that the invasion would come at a severe economic cost to Moscow.
Stoltenberg also said that NATO was ready to pursue dialogue with Russia at this “very critical time for European security,” summing up the recent NATO-Russia council meeting in Brussels as difficult but important as “certain NATO allies were able to sit down with Russia after two years of no meetings.”
The secretary-general reiterated that NATO was ready to engage in dialogue with Russia, but would never compromise on core principles of European security. NATO was also prepared to give support to Ukraine to strengthen its defense capabilities if Russia was to invade.
On Dec. 17, Russia issued demands for what it called “security guarantees” from the United States and NATO, including a demand that Ukraine be forbidden from ever becoming a member of the alliance – all against the backdrop of a continuous buildup of Russian troops close to the Ukrainian border.
On Jan. 12 all 30 members of NATO spent four hours discussing the threat of Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Kremlin's demands during a NATO-Russia Council meeting.
Afterwards, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance would never compromise on its “open door” policy.
Currently, over 100,000 Russian troops are estimated to be deployed on the Russian-Ukrainian border and in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories, reports Ukrainian intelligence.
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