In an interview with BBC, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told he would not have called Russia a threat to the Alliance, but at the same time he admitted that the partnership between Moscow and NATO no longer existed. According to the Secretary General of the Alliance, Russia itself is the one to blame and NATO only defends itself and responds to incoming calls, Joinfo.ua reports.
Strengthening of NATO combat readiness and increasing of forces in Europe is caused by the fact that Russia has become more assertive and is “responsible for the aggressive actions in Ukraine”, Jens Stoltenberg tells BBC. However, despite the persistence of the host, the Secretary General of the Alliance still does not call Russia the main threat to NATO.
Nevertheless, Stoltenberg put the Kremlin’s policy on a par with the challenges from the south – in particular, with the threat of the Islamic state. According to him, all together these problems create a new situation the Alliance must adapt to. Moreover, recently, the members of the organization decided that a cyber attack on any of the allies could cause application of Article 5 of the NATO Charter On Collective Defense.
Stoltenberg believes that the partnership with Russia no longer exists, because Moscow is investing heavily in defense and is doing snap exercises reducing predictability, transparency of the situation. Moreover, it is using “nuclear rhetoric” as part of “defence posturing”. “But we don’t seek any confrontation with Russia, we continue to strive for a more cooperative and constructive relationship with Russia.” At the same time, in the case of NATO, Stoltenberg sees “no contradiction between strong defense and political dialogue”.