Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg said that the relationship with Russia is more difficult than it has been any time since the end of the Cold War. It escalated when Russia annexed Crimea and continued aggression in the Eastern Ukraine, as Stoltenberg said in an interview for СNN.
“NATO's relationship with Russia is more difficult than it has been any time since the end of the Cold War. At the end of the Cold War, we hoped to develop a close partnership with Russia, but especially after the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, and the continued Russian destabilization of eastern Ukraine, and the relationship between NATO and Russia has deteriorated considerably. But at the same time, Russia is there. Russia is our neighbor. Russia is there to stay. So we are -- we are pursuing it, a dual approach, which is defense, deterrence and dialogue,” he said.
Stoltenberg emphasized that it’s Russia’s actions that complicates the relations with the counry.
“They have violated international law. They have taken a part of another country, Crimea. The is first time borders have been changed in Europe by the use of force since the Second World War. And they continue their aggressive policies, destabilizing eastern Ukraine with Russian forces, in eastern Ukraine supporting the separatists. So that's the reason why we have seen a worsening in the relationship between the West and NATO and Russia,” he said.