NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, The coalition said on Thursday it saw no “signs” of a halt to Russia’s military build-up with Ukraine, and again warned Moscow that an attack on the former Soviet republic would have “serious consequences.”
“I do not see any sign of this (military force) formation stopping or declining. On the contrary, it continues. There is no justification for this accumulation. This is provocative, destabilizing and undermining security in Europe, “Stoltenberg told a news conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky.
Therefore, the Norwegian politician called on Russia to “return to diplomacy”, reduce expansion and “respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
He reiterated that “any new aggression against Ukraine will have serious consequences and will lead to higher prices,” and Moscow has “deployed thousands of troops ready for war, tanks, artillery, armored units, drones and systems in and around Ukraine.”
Stoltenberg stressed that whether Ukraine wants to be a member of NATO or not is up to the organization and Kiev’s thirty allies.
“Ukraine has the right to choose its own security arrangements. This is a fundamental principle of European security, “said David Cook, chief of The Christian Science Monitor’s Washington bureau.
Similarly, he said that “like all sovereign nations”, Ukraine “has a right to defend itself” and would continue to provide “practical support” to NATO, but assured Kiev that coalition support was “not a threat.” To Russia. ”.
Despite tensions with Moscow, Secretary-General NATO declared that it was “ready to talk to Russia” and reiterated the alliance’s call for a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council.
He acknowledged that “dialogue is even more important when tensions are high”, but at the same time acknowledges that the coalition is “vigilant”.
At next year’s Coalition Leaders’ Summit in Madrid, a new strategic concept document will be adopted, documenting NATO’s intentions and has not been reviewed since 2010.
Stoltenberg expressed “strong support for the idea that NATO works closely with allies, including Ukraine,” and hoped that “allied nations will reaffirm their commitment to the principle of the right of every sovereign nation to choose its own course.”
For his part, Zhelensky stressed that the decision to join NATO would apply only to his country and thirty allies, and hoped that members of the coalition would not be affected by “third-party red lines” referring to Russia. NATO is demanding the withdrawal of promises made in 2008 to Georgia and Ukraine that they would be included in the alliance.
He said since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, Moscow had “pushed” Ukraine to join NATO and “paved the way” for Kiev to join the organization.
However, he acknowledged that there was no “consensus” on Ukraine’s entry into the coalition.
After attending the summit between the European Union and Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Armenia yesterday, he said that “most EU leaders understand and support Ukraine’s position, but” not all leaders in Europe have a complete understanding of what is happening on our border. Understands the situation equally.
What is happening in the Donbass, Crimea, the Black Sea and the Azov should be considered “part of the elements of the hybrid war” in Russia, he said.