NATO will maintain a two-pronged approach to relations with Russia, which provides for strong deterrence and defense on the one hand, and keeps the channels of dialogue open on the other, as Russia remains a neighbor of the Alliance.
This belief was expressed by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg during a video conference on NATO development until 2030.
“NATO’s attitude towards Russia is based on what we call a dual approach. We saw a more aggressive Russia, we saw how it used military force against its neighbors – in Georgia, in Ukraine. It’s investing heavily in state-of-the-art capabilities, including the nuclear ones currently deployed – the so-called SSC-8 missiles, which are capable of reaching European cities. it is lowering the threshold for the potential use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict. And this directly undermined the DRMSD agreement, which banned all such medium-range weapons,” Stoltenberg said.
He stressed that NATO did not provide a mirror image of Russia’s actions, which are actively building and developing its own nuclear arsenals and doctrines, but the Allies have done everything possible to ensure reliable deterrence and defense. “This is the best way to prevent a conflict – to remove any room for doubt or to underestimate NATO’s readiness to protect all allies. As long as we provide such a deterrent system, there will be no conflicts or attacks. This is the first part we call “deterrence and defense”, and we will continue to do so,” he said.