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NATO chief says Crimea issue not excuse for Russia’s isolation

July 11, 16:35 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

Russia is our neighbor, Stoltenberg reiterated

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

© AP Photo/Francois Mori

BRUSSELS, July 11. /TASS/. Crimea’s reunification with Russia and other problems in relations between NATO and Russia are not an argument in favor of isolating Russia, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.

"We do not accept the illegal annexation of Crimea, we do not accept cyber propaganda, interference in domestic political processes. We have seen that in Salisbury. <…> We have seen many examples. We do not accept that, but for me that’s not an argument in favor of isolating Russia or stopping talking to Russia," he said at the NATO Engages expert forum in Brussels.

"Russia is our neighbor, Russia is not going to go away, and we need to talk to Russia," Stoltenberg added.

The NATO secretary-general earlier stressed on numerous occasions that even if there is no improvement in relations between NATO and Russia, contacts with Moscow are necessary to prevent relations from deteriorating any further.

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