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NATO Secretary General: we are able to protect Baltic States

Jens Stoltenberg.
NATO is able to protect all of its member states, including Baltic States, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.                                      

In his interview to Delfi.lt, Stoltenbergs emphasized that Lithuania and other Baltic States are NATO member states. He especially emphasized that Baltic States are mow members in a very strong alliance. When asked if there are any risks that Russia cannot be stopped in Ukraine and that it will have to be stopped in Baltic States, Stoltenbergs said his main priority is making sure NATO remains strong.

«We have increase military presence in the air, land and sea, and we will continue doing this for as long as necessary. We have strengthened patrols in Baltic airspace – there are now five times more NATO aircraft in the region than there was one year ago. This is our response to Russia’s growing activity in the air. Russian military aircraft have been intercepted approximately one hundred times this year – three times more often than last year. We will remain present in the Baltic Sea region for as long as necessary,» – promised Stoltenbergs.

According to him, Russia has effectively ruined Europe’s security system by breaching international law.

Because of this reason, he asked on behalf of NATO to follow international law and act within lines of international regulations, and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. «We are all interested in not coming back to an age of confrontation; we need to push for cooperation and constructive relations with Russia,» – said NATO Secretary General. He added, however, that Russia’s aggressive actions effectively reduce the effectiveness of such an approach.

When speaking about the situation in Ukraine, Stoltenbergs admitted that it is ‘very, very serious’.

«A ceasefire has been achieved. There is also the Minsk Treaty. All this remains in force, but we still see breaches of these agreements […] We see the concentration of military forces, we see that equipment, tanks, cargo trucks, artillery batteries and anti-air defence systems are carried to Russian separatists. All this reduces the chances of reaching a peaceful solution through talks. This is why we ask Russia to withdraw its forces away from Ukraine, cease the escalation of the conflict and support of separatists and comply with Minsk Treaty,» – said Stoltenbergs.

When asked to comment the controversial contract between France and Russia regarding the supply of modern Mistral ships, the new NATO Secretary General noted that military transports is a matter of internal policy of each NATO member state, and this is something the alliance has no right to influence.
BNN/LETA

20-11-2014
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