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9 Dec, 2021 21:36

NATO hopes that tensions on Russia-Ukraine border have been reduced – Stoltenberg

NATO hopes that tensions on Russia-Ukraine border have been reduced – Stoltenberg

Following this week's video summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden, NATO is hopeful that no military action will be seen on the Russia-Ukraine border.

That's according to General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, who was speaking remotely at a meeting of Berlin's Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, at an event marking the 50th Anniversary of the former German chancellor Willy Brandt being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He called on Moscow to find a political solution to issues between itself and Ukraine. His words come as tensions on the frontier continue to remain high, with some worried that a military incursion is around the corner.

“We call on Russia to de-escalate,” he said. “We also welcome the talks that took place between President Biden and President Putin yesterday, and we really hope that Russia, this time, will not use military force but will respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a sovereign state in Europe, Ukraine.”

Stoltenberg also noted his regret that the NATO-Russia Council had not been convened for eighteen months and accused Moscow of rejecting the alliance's repeated invitations.

“NATO really believes and continues to strive for meaningful dialogue with Russia, including in the institution we established after the Cold War, the NATO-Russia Council,” he said, noting they could meet again to discuss “Ukraine, risk-reduction exercises and arms control.”

Also on Wednesday, Putin accused the bloc of treating Russia as an adversary. Following a meeting in Sochi with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, he told the press that actions such as the expulsion of diplomats are a sign of Moscow's poor treatment.

“As far as NATO is concerned, it is a military alliance. Regrettably, this bloc is conducting a clearly confrontational policy towards Russia,” Putin said. “There is nothing good about this. We do not seek any confrontations with anyone.”