NATO Warns Of Risk New War in Europe and Beyond
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that Alliance will do everything to avoid it.
There is a real risk of a new armed conflict in Europe, but NATO will do everything in its might to avoid such a scenario, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference following the Russia-NATO Council meeting in Brussels.
If Russia again uses force against Ukraine and invades its territory even more, then we will seriously study the further strengthening of our presence in the eastern part of Europe, the NATO Secretary-General warned. On Wednesday, the alliance allies called on Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova.
According to Mr. Stoltenberg, the Russians at the talks demanded: "security guarantees" formulated in the draft agreements with the United States and NATO (published in December). The allies, for their part, reaffirmed their open-door policy and the right of each state to choose its agreements, the alliance's Secretary-General said.
All members are united on the key principle that each state has the right to choose its path. Allies also agree that only Ukraine and 30 NATO allies can decide when Ukraine is ready to become a NATO member, stressed Mr. Stoltenberg.
In turn, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman again called the Russian proposals unacceptable (non-starters). She assured that the US and its NATO allies "won't slam the door" on countries wishing to join the alliance, the US does not agree and return to the 1997 situation. At the same time, according to Sherman, Ukraine and Georgia have to do a lot of work to meet NATO standards.
Mr. Stoltenberg said that during the talks, the possibility of resuming the Russian mission to NATO and the NATO mission in Moscow was mentioned. Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Grushko said that he does not exclude the resumption of the work of the Russian mission in Brussels, "if and when NATO falls on a different course - on a course that will allow it to integrate into the collective efforts to build security".
According to Mr. Stoltenberg, the Russian and NATO delegations agreed to hold a series of meetings to agree on mutual and verifiable restrictions on missile weapons in Europe.
According to him, NATO allies have confirmed that they will not allow resign from the defence of each other - it also applies to the presence of the bloc's troops in its eastern part.