NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated at a press-conference in Brussels on Thursday that the Alliance does not want the isolation of Russia and wishes for relations with the country to become better; however, NATO does support the sanctions policy currently levied against the Russian Federation.
“The Alliance supports what we call a double approach,” Interfax-Ukraine cites Stoltenberg saying. “Namely: deterrence and defense, but also dialogue. Since Russia is our neighbor, and it will still be there, we are trying to improve our relations with Russia.”
Stoltenberg believes that the sanctions are an important mechanism because they give a clear signal to Russia.
“When Russia violates international rules, when it violates sovereignty and territorial integrity of the neighboring State, as was done in Ukraine, then there are consequences of such actions,” Stoltenberg stressed. “That is why the international community responds by sanctions. I support such an approach.”
He noted, however, that the decision to impose sanctions was made not by NATO originally. “But NATO members welcome and support these sanctions, because there is a price to pay for their actions. There are consequences when international rules are violated.”
NATO is planning to deploy an additional 30,000 soldiers in Europe to be prepared in the event of an attack from Russia.