Stoltenberg Says NATO Will Use Different Tools With Respect To Russia


Stoltenberg Says NATO Will Use Different Tools With Respect to Russia

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th June, 2021) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance is prepared to counter what it considers potential Russian aggression and considers sanctions an important tool.

"Perhaps the most important thing we have done is that for the first time in NATO's history, we have combat-ready troops in the eastern part of the Alliance," Stoltenberg told CNBC on Sunday, adding that "New battle groups are deployed to the Baltic countries and Poland, we have tripled the size of the NATO readiness force."

The NATO chief said that the alliance will continue to build its military capabilities and employ a "wide combination of different tools" to counter "Russian aggression."

According to Stoltenberg, NATO is taking a dual track approach with regard to Russia, meaning both defense and dialogue.

"And after years of cutting defense budgets, all our (members) are now investing more. So we are not going to mirror what Russia does. But we will respond in a very firm and clear way, with a wide combination of different tools, as we have demonstrated over the last years," Stoltenberg said.

The NATO chief emphasized that "Russian military buildups" will trigger responses, such as the alliance strengthening its air and missile defense, but NATO is also interested in pursuing arms control. At the same time, Stoltenberg said that "sanctions are important" when it comes to Russia.

According to the NATO chief, sanctions imposed against Russia over the reunification of Crimea should "continue" alongside "more support to close partners such as Ukraine and Georgia."

After this weekend's G7 summit in the UK's southwestern county of Cornwall, US President Joe Biden headed for Brussels where the NATO summit will be held on Monday.

On Sunday, the White House issued a statement saying that NATO was going to modify its strategic policies regarding Russia and China, and would release a new Strategic Concept addressing threats to collective security, as well as transnational threats such as terrorism, cyber crime, and climate change. The so-called NATO 2030 strategic concept launched by Stoltenberg in December 2019 is set to be at the center of Monday's discussions.