The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) remains ready for meaningful dialogue with Russia, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said.
Addressing a press conference following the extraordinary meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Stoltenberg on Friday said that the meeting addressed Russia’s military build-up around Ukraine and the implications for European security, Xinhua news agency reported.
He said Russia’s actions “seriously undermine the security order” in Europe. “NATO remains committed to our dual-track approach to Russia: strong deterrence and defense, combined with meaningful dialogue.”
Stoltenberg welcomed Russia’s readiness to “come to the table and talk.” Next week, the NATO allies will meet with Russia in the NATO-Russia Council. The US and Russia will also hold talks in Geneva on Monday.
“Next week’s series of engagements are an opportunity for Russia to demonstrate that it is serious about dialogue and diplomacy. We are always ready to listen to Russian concerns. And NATO will make every effort to find a political way forward,” he said.
Stoltenberg said NATO will engage in dialogue with Russia “in good faith, and on substance,” and also “be prepared for the possibility that diplomacy will fail.” He said ministers stressed that “any further aggression against Ukraine would have significant consequences.”
Asked about the situation in Kazakhstan, the NATO chief said he was concerned about the crisis and was following the situation very closely.
“We demand that the violence stop and that the right to demonstrate peacefully be respected,” he said.