‘Risk of conflict is real’ – NATO chief

NATO boss says the alliance is able to negotiate with Russia, however doesn’t rule out a ‘conflict’

NATO is open to listening to Moscow’s considerations, the bloc’s head Jens Stoltenberg mentioned on Friday. However, he added that any strikes to cut back Ukraine tensions have to be reciprocal, and never undermine the European “security order.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg defined the bloc’s approach to negotiations with Russia throughout a press convention on Friday, following a unprecedented assembly of the member states’ overseas ministers.

The alliance’s boss squarely blamed the deteriorating relations and tensions round Ukraine on Moscow, reiterating the claims of a “military build-up” allegedly carried out by Russia on its neighbor’s borders. The allegations have been persistently dismissed by Moscow, which insists any motion of troops inside its personal territory is strictly its home enterprise.

“The risk of conflict is real. Russia’s aggressive actions seriously undermine the security order in Europe,” Stoltenberg insisted on Friday.

At the identical time, the official signaled that the NATO bloc was not desirous to enter a struggle with Russia over Ukraine. While the West has repeatedly warned Russia over extreme “consequences” ought to it “invade” its neighbor – a cost repeatedly denied by Moscow – Ukraine is just not a NATO member and an assault on it doesn’t invoke the bloc’s collective protection, Stoltenberg reminded the journalists on the press convention.

We should do not forget that Ukraine is a really shut accomplice. We present assist to Ukraine, however Ukraine is just not coated by NATO’s collective protection clause as a result of Ukraine is just not a NATO member. They are a accomplice.

The bloc is able to have interaction with Russia on excellent safety points, however Moscow mustn’t anticipate any one-sided concessions from the alliance, Stoltenberg warned. He additionally expressed confidence that the US will not make any concessions to Russia on the expense of the bloc’s European members.

“We are ready to engage in arms control with Russia, conventional and nuclear, but that has to be reciprocal,” Stoltenberg said. “That’s a different thing – imposing one-sided restrictions … we can’t end up in a situation where we have second-class NATO members where NATO as an alliance is not allowed to protect them.”

The high diplomats of NATO members received collectively for a web based summit forward of the upcoming US-Russia talks, in addition to the primary assembly of the NATO-Russia Council in years. The US-Russia talks, set to be led by high-level officers of the 2 nations, is scheduled to start in Geneva on January 10. The NATO-Russia Council assembly, set to be the primary one since 2019, is predicted to happen on January 12.

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