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NATO to step up defenses, continue dialogue with Russia — chief

May 26, 0:25 UTC+3

"Today we reaffirmed our dual-track approach: strong defense, combined with meaningful dialogue, and we are delivering on both tracks," the secretary general said

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BRUSEELS, May 26. /TASS/. NATO is committed to the dual-track approach of stepping up its defense and at the same time continuing the dialogue with Russia, its chief Jens Stoltenberg told reporters after the NATO summit in Brussels.

"Today we reaffirmed our dual-track approach: strong defense, combined with meaningful dialogue, and we are delivering on both tracks," the secretary general said.

"Allies stand strong together not to provoke a conflict, but to prevent a conflict and to preserve peace," he went on. "At the same time, we remain open to dialogue with Russia, to increase transparency and reduce risks."

The NATO chief said the members of the alliance were as united in their stance toward Russia as they had never been for many years.

"The NATO position is clear and we have a united alliance behind it," Stoltenberg said. "The unity in NATO on our approach to Russia is actually stronger that I have seen for many, many years."

"NATO is a defensive alliance. NATO does not seek confrontation with Russia. Actually we recognize that Russia is our biggest neighbor… and we are striving for a better and more constructive relationship with Russia," he continued. "At the same time, NATO has to deliver credible deterrence and defense. Because by delivering credible deterrence and defense, we are preventing conflict, we are preventing war.".

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