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Stoltenberg says dialogue with Russia 'not sign of weakness'

December 07, 2016, 14:28 UTC+3

NATO chief says there is "no way the alliance wants to or should try to isolate Russia"

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© EPA/PAWEL SUPERNAK

BRUSSELS, December 7. /TASS/. The North Atlantic Alliance has no intention to isolate Russia, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.

"Russia is our biggest neighbor, Russia is here to stay and there is no way we want to or should try to isolate Russia," Stoltenberg said following the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers.

"We had a very good discussion on our relationship with Russia. There is strong unity and a very clear message from all allies that our approach to Russia should build on the message - defense and dialogue, not defense or dialogue," he added.

This should be based on common understanding that our dialogue with Russia is "not a sign of weakness but it is a sign of a firm predictable approach of NATO to our biggest neighbor."

"We need to engage with Russia in many different ways not only as NATO, but on the level of different NATO allies as well," the NATO chief said.

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