BRUSSELS, November 29. /TASS/. NATO does not see any aggressive action taken by Moscow against the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) members but should rise up to the challenge of Moscow’s increasing military capabilities, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg answered a TASS question at a press conference held ahead of the NATO Summit in London on December 3-4.
"We don’t see any imminent military threats of Russia against any NATO country. But what we [do] see is a strategic challenge and we see a Russia which is investing heavily in new modern capabilities including nuclear forces," he said.
Stoltenberg reiterated the alliance’s accusations that Moscow is allegedly "violating the cornerstone arms control agreement in Europe — the INF Treaty [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty — TASS], deploying missiles capable of reaching European cities within minutes and missiles which are nuclear capable." These accusations laid the groundwork for Brussels and Washington to shift the responsibility for the US unilateral withdrawal from the treaty on Russia.
According to him, Russia "has been responsible for aggressive actions against [its] neighbors — Georgia, Ukraine but also have forces in Moldova without the consent of the government in that country [Stoltenberg means Transnistria where the military crisis was halted and frozen after Russia took action — TASS]."
"So, yes we have not seen any aggressive actions against a NATO country. But the reality is that that’s exactly why it’s so important for NATO to continue to provide credible deterrence and defense also in the more unpredictable world and that’s the reason why we have modernized, invested more and increased the readiness of our forces over the last years," the NATO Secretary General concluded.
On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron had a joint press conference with Stoltenberg in Paris where he urged NATO to think about better relations with Russia and pay more attention to fighting real threats that European countries are facing such as international terrorism.