NATO responds negatively to Russia's call to deny Ukraine membership

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General

© APA | Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General

# 12 January 2022 18:09 (UTC +04:00)

“It was not easy discussions. We exchanged serious and direct views on the security of Ukraine and Europe,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at the press conference, APA reports.

According to him, there are disagrrements between NATO allies and Russia, however, it is good to sit at table and discuss, it is a positive signal.

“We support NATO’s open door policy, every country has its own right of choice. Russia and NATO stressed the resumption of dialogue at the discussions. We will have more detailed meetings in the future. NATO wants concrete discussions regarding security issues. We consider it important to have a channel of civil and military communication between NATO and Russia, and to restore the offices in Brussels and Moscow. At the same time, we expressed our concern about the situation around Ukraine. Russia should recognize and respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all neighboring countries. We as NATO will continue our attempts to find a political solution. Only Ukraine and 30 countries decide when Ukraine will become a member. We have supported Ukraine to meet NATO standards,” stressed Secretary-General.

J. Stoltenberg noted that Russian troops are in the territories of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine without their consent: “These forces are not accepted by those countries. At today’s meeting we called on Russia to withdraw its troops from the territories of these countries. Russia should withdraw its military forces from these countries and should recognize territorial integrity of those countries.”

NATO Secretary-General has mentioned that Ukraine is a sovereign country and this country has a right to self-defense: "Ukraine is not a threat to Turkey. Russia is the biggest country in Europe, has nuclear weapons. In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. Russia supports separatists in Donbas. There are forces that are ready to artillery and combat forces on the borders of Ukraine. There are artillery and forces ready for the battle operations on the Ukraine borders and Russia demonstrates threatening rhetoric. Russia does all of these and in this case, Ukraine has a right to self-defense".

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