NATO President Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday after a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels that there are differences of opinion between Russia and NATO over Ukraine and it will not be easy to break them.
– There are major differences between NATO and Russia – he stressed at the conference after talks at NATO headquarters.
– It will not be easy to eliminate our differences, but it is a positive sign that all NATO allies and Russia have sat down at the same table and discussed substantive issues – he pointed out.
Russia is called to withdraw its forces
Jens Stoltenberg reported that NATO allies demanded that Russia withdraw its military forces from Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. He stressed NATO’s position that “there will be no concessions on fundamental principles.” He also pointed out that the idea that NATO expansion is an act of aggression is completely incorrect.
The NATO chief also said that he offered Russia to hold more meetings on this subject, and Russia responded that it was not ready for that. NATO has made it clear that we are ready to schedule a series of meetings on a wide range of topics, including missiles and peer review of missile limits in Europe. (…]The Russian side made it clear that it was not ready for this, he said after the meeting.
He also noted that the two sides had an “open discussion” on many topics and that the meeting was useful. There is a real danger of a new conflict in Europe. We’ll do whatever we can to stop it, Stoltenberg said.
Stoltenberg emphasized that NATO reaffirmed its open-door policy. He also reported that Russia had no veto over whether Ukraine could become a member of NATO. He also reported that NATO allies called on Russia to calm the situation in Ukraine.
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