BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:00 P.M.) – NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the NATO alliance should establish ‘dialogue’ with Russia to manage a ‘difficult relationship’, at a press conference from Lancaster House in London on Thursday.

“I strongly believe we have to talk to Russia, but dialogue with Russia has to be based on our unity and a firm and predictable approach to Russia. Therefore, for the NATO approach to Russia, is what we call a dual track approach; deterrence-defence and dialogue,” Stoltenberg told a gathering of security experts.

“Even if we believe that we are not able to improve the relationship with Russia, we need to manage a difficult relationship with Russia,” he added.

His remarks come ahead of a NATO summit in Brussels next month, which is taking place against the backdrop of rising tensions within the transatlantic alliance.

Full Transcript:

SOT, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General: “We faced with the most unpredictable security environment in the generation: international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, cyber-attacks and, of course, a more assertive Russia which has used intimidation and force against neighbours, illegally annexed Crimea, destabilised eastern Ukraine, meddled in our domestic affairs and tried to assassinate a British citizen and his daughter in Salisbury using a banned chemical weapon. These are our common challenges, and it’s in our common interest to face them together.” *NO CUTAWAY AT SOURCE*

SOT, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General: “For two years, there were no meetings in the NATO-Russia Council from 2014 to 2016, and when I arrived at NATO in October 2014, I was focused on how to reactivate the dialogue with Russia, because Russia is our neighbour, Russia is set to stay, so I strongly believe we have to talk to Russia, but dialogue with Russia has to be based on our unity and a firm and predictable approach to Russia. Therefore, for the NATO approach to Russia, is what we call a dual track approach: deterrence-defence and dialogue. There is no contradiction in being strong, delivering deterrence and defence, and talking to Russia or having a dialogue with Russia. Actually, I believe that as long as we are strong and united, we can talk to Russia. Dialogue is not a sign of weakness. Dialogue is actually a sign of strength.” *NO CUTAWAY AT SOURCE*

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SOT, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General: “So I welcome the fact that we have been able to reactivate the NATO-Russia council. We have convened seven meetings since 2016, we are addressing transparency, risk reduction, reciprocal briefings on exercises and many other issues, partly because we strive for a better relationship with Russia, but even if we don’t believe that we are be able to improve the relationship with Russia, we need to manage a difficult relationship with Russia. So, therefore, we have reactivated the NATO-Russia council.” *NO CUTAWAY AT SOURCE*

SOT, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General: “The whole message of NATO is that we don’t want a new cold war, we don’t want a new arms race, we don’t want to isolate Russia, we want to talk to Russia. Russia is here to stay. And again, as I said, partly, this is about striving for a better relationship with Russia, which is in our interest, but even if we don’t believe that we are able to get a better relationship with Russia in the future, we need to talk to them to manage a difficult relationship.”

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Master
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jmNZ
2018-06-21 17:52

This man is a deluded Dr Strangelove, long past his sell-by date.

Daeshbags Sux
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Daeshbags Sux
2018-06-23 02:07
Reply to  jmNZ

Would you explain why you consider this? He’s just doing his job at expressing the position of Washington. Last year, he perfectly pointed what was to be the a-coming main existential threat to the very existence of NATO : the new born EU-Army! It’s absolutely logic, even if it may take up to the mid-30’s to have it fully running long overdue EU-Army (UK always vetoed it), this will simply make NATO useless… Note : I’m absolutely of those willing to scrap NATO for the EU-Army and also… Having Russia entering the EU (while I definitively oppose the entry of… Read more »

Slavonac
Slavonac
2018-06-27 12:33
Reply to  Daeshbags Sux

I hope you understand that EU – Russia alliance is not in the interest of nato? Remember “not an inch to the East” promise by nato to Russia? it was also nato who froze Russia out of co-operation so there is nothing left in that relationship. If Europe wants security it will have to talk to Russia directly not via nato