At the final press conference of the NATO Foreign Ministers Summit held in the Turkish city of Belek, NATO Secretary General said that NATO decided to maintain political links with Russia, but suspend practical cooperation due to the actions of Russia in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, Joinfo.ua reports.
"The decision made by NATO last spring to suspend all practical cooperation with Russia is the response to the aggression of the Russian Federation and illegal annexation of Crimea," Stoltenberg said.
In addition, according to NATO Secretary General, there is no contradiction between strong defense within the Alliance and political dialogue with Russia.
However, Stoltenberg said that NATO would conduct joint exercises with Finland and Sweden. "We discussed how we could develop close relationships with our partners, Finland and Sweden. We will do it so that we had a general picture of the situation in the region. We will examine the issue of how to conduct more joint exercises with these countries," said Secretary General.
Stoltenberg said that the alliance planned to double the number of NATO Response Force in the Baltic States. "We will maintain our presence in the eastern part of the alliance, there will be more patrolling and more exercises," he said.
Earlier, Stoltenberg announced the decision of the North Atlantic Alliance to increase the number of military personnel of NATO in Kyiv.