NATO chief calls for ‘constructive’ dialogue with Russia

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Munich, Feb 13 (IANS) NATO needs “constructive dialogue” with Russia to ensure long-term stability in Europe, NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said on Saturday.

The NATO chief addressed the Munich Security Conference on the second day. He accused Russia for destabilising European security order but reaffirmed that NATO does not seek confrontations nor a cold war, Xinhua reported.

“NATO will strive for a more constructive, more cooperative relationship with Russia,” he said.

“We are in a new reality with Russia… We do need a constructive dialogue,” Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg said dialogue was needed for a number of reasons, including promoting strategic stability, increasing transparency and reducing risks of incidents and accidents.

Stoltenberg said he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday and that both agreed to explore the possibilities of convening a meeting of the NATO-Russia council.

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Talking about NATO’s missile defence, Stoltenberg reiterated it is purely defensive.

“It is neither designed nor directed against Russia. It does not and cannot undermine Russian strategic deterrence,” he said.

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