Stoltenberg: Russia is the reason for stationing NATO troops in the Baltics and Poland

The presence of NATO battalions in the Baltic States and Poland is associated with the military ambitions of Russia, the secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Jens Stoltenberg, said.

“The reason for placing the four battalions of NATO in the Baltic States and Poland is that we saw the military ambitions of Russia and its desire to use force against its neighbors,” Stoltenberg said on Wednesday, August 7, 2016, speaking during the International Conference “Europe’s Changing Geostrategic Landscape after the Warsaw Summit” in Tbilisi, organized by the International Republican Institute (IRI) of John McCain.

He continued this thought with respect to Georgia. “I understand why Georgia wants to join NATO. When you’re a small country and you’re bordered by a large neighbor, a platform requires security and you want to become a member of the collective security of the Alliance. My main advice for Georgia is to continue reforms,” Stoltenberg said.

He stressed that NATO will never recognize “the independence of the occupied Georgian territories.” The secretary general spoke about NATO’s relationship with Ukraine and Georgia as well: “If Ukraine compares with Georgia, it should be noted that Georgia has made an application for membership in NATO,” he said.

The delegation of the North Atlantic Council, led by the NATO secretary general, arrived in Georgia on Wednesday, August 7, 2016 on a two-day visit. This is the fourth visit by the North Atlantic Council to Georgia since 2008.

  NATO, Russia, Georgia, Poland, Baltic States