Jens Stoltenberg: Russia has cut diplomatic ties with NATO, which makes our dialogue more difficult

Jens Stoltenberg

© APA | Jens Stoltenberg

# 26 January 2022 23:43 (UTC +04:00)

NATO has delivered its response to Russia on European security arrangements, the alliance’s chief announced on Wednesday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

“NATO is a defensive alliance and we do not seek confrontation. But we cannot and will not compromise on the principles on the security of our alliances and security of Europe and North America. Russia has cut diplomatic ties with NATO, which makes our dialogue more difficult. So we should re-establish our respective offices in Moscow and in Brussels. We should also make full use of our existing military-to-military channels of communications, to promote transparency and reduce risks, and look also into setting up a civilian hotline for emergency use,” Jens Stoltenberg said at a news conference.

In its reply to two draft agreements handed by Russia to the US and NATO last December, NATO rejected Russian demands to withdraw its troops and weapons from eastern Europe and to halt the transatlantic integration of Ukraine.

The military alliance also called on Russia to de-escalate tensions with Ukraine and engage in a dialogue.

“Russia should refrain from coercive force posturing, aggressive rhetoric, and malign activities directed against allies and organizations,” Stoltenberg said, calling on Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

In the written response, NATO invited Russia to re-establish offices in Moscow and Brussels after breaking diplomatic ties last year and to set up new communications channels, including a civilian hotline for emergencies.

The military alliance also urged Russia to start “a serious conversation on arms control, including nuclear weapons and ground-based intermediate and short-range missiles,” Stoltenberg said.

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