NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Alliance did not recognize the annexation of Crimea, but this, in his opinion, is not an excuse to isolate Russia. He said this at the NATO summit, as Interfax-Ukraine reports.
"We still do not recognize the annexation of the Crimea, interference in the election of other countries, but we cannot isolate Russia over this," Stoltenberg said.
According to him, instances, when Russia "interfered in the internal affairs of other states in could be seen Salisbury, in Montenegro."
"For me, this is not an argument in favor of Russia's isolation, so that we stop talking with Russia. I think, on the contrary, when relations are strained, it is important to talk with Russia in order to reduce tension," Stoltenberg said.
Secretary General believes in the need for a dialogue with Russia, "even if NATO does not believe in improving relations."
"We must speak with Russia in order to build a complex relationship," he noted.
At the same time, NATO states the presence of Russian troops on the territory of neighboring states.
"We see that Russia is using troops against its neighbors - Ukraine, Georgia, even Moldova, yes, we see this activity. NATO and Russia have cooperated for many years on various issues, because Russia is also our neighbor - on military issues, border issues. My position regarding Russia is that the Alliance must be strong, we must be united and increase investment in defense. We need to continue the dialogue with Russia because it remains our neighbor, "the NATO Secretary General said.
At the same time, he stressed that we should not forget about the annexation of Crimea, cyber-attacks, interference in the domestic politics of other countries, but "it is necessary to use all the tools to change the situation for the better."
Also, NATO notices the presence of Russian troops on the territory of neighboring states.
As it was reported earlier, NATO will not yet offer Ukraine the Enhanced Opportunities Partnership (EOP) just yet, but will continue supporting it, Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday.