NATO considers Russia a threat

By Monitoring Desk
Tuesday – March 23, 2021
BRUSSELS (Belgium): North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) secretary general (SG) Jens Stoltenberg said, Monday, “NATO 2030 is about protecting the rules-based order, which is being challenged by authoritarian powers like China and Russia” urging “So we need to work even closer with like-minded partners around the globe. And support our neighbours with more training and capacity building.”

According to a press release, the NATO SG addressed a press conference ahead of the meetings of NATO foreign ministers on March 23-24, 2021, at NATO headquarters in the capital city.

He continued, “We live in a more dangerous and competitive world, where challenges know no borders” relating “Russia’s destabilising activities, the threat of terrorism, sophisticated cyber attacks, disruptive technologies, the rise of China, and climate change.”

NATO SG Stoltenberg urged, “That is why we must reinforce our unity, which derives from our promise to defend each other” adding “Since 2014, we have been implementing the largest adaptation of our collective defence since the cold war.”

He believed, “Russia continues to suppress peaceful dissidents at home, and display a pattern of aggressive behaviour abroad” alleging “Including with cyber attacks, and attempts to interfere in our elections and undermine our democracies.”

NATO SG Stoltenberg expressed, “As an alliance, we remain committed to our dual-track approach to Russia” explaining “Strong deterrence and defence, combined with openness to meaningful dialogue. Including on issues such as arms control.”

He voiced, “We are, of course, following closely the Bulgarian investigation into the alleged Russian spy ring. NATO is always very focused on the protection of classified documents and classified information, and we fully support the work of our ally Bulgaria to tackle Russia’s malign activities on its territory” relating “We have seen a pattern of more assertive behaviour by Russia over the last years, including aggressive actions against nations, Ukraine of course.”

NATO SG Stoltenberg observed, “The relationship between NATO and Russia has been difficult for some time now, and that is a result of Russia’s behaviour, violating national law, using military force against neighbours; Georgia and Ukraine” alleging “But also, Russia is responsible for aggressive actions against NATO allied member states through cyber, interference in our domestic political processes, and so on.”

He assumed, “Russian president Vladimir Putin is of course, ultimately responsible for all actions taken by the Russian State. And we have seen a pattern of aggressive behaviour, including attempts and targeted killing of opponents, and in NATO, we are of course also very concerned about the reports about Russia, promising bounties for the killing of NATO soldiers in Afghanistan.”

NATO SG Stoltenberg educated, “If there’s any lesson learned both from the Balkans in the 1990s or Afghanistan or Iraq and also from Libya, then it is that prevention is better than intervention to help countries to stabilise themselves, by providing training, capacity building is perhaps the best way NATO can help to stabilise our neighbourhood. And when our neighbours are more stable, we are more secure.”

He continued, “Our main focus now is not combat but actually training, enabling the Afghans themselves to stabilise their own country. Iraq, where the focus is exactly the same; train the Iraqi security forces so they can prevent terrorists from returning, we’re also working with Jordan, we are working in Tunisia.”

NATO SG Stoltenberg disclosed, “Ministers will continue consultations on the situation in Afghanistan, and our military presence, to assess our next steps together” adding “The ongoing peace talks are the best way to preserve the gains made over the last two decades. And to ensure a stable Afghanistan that will not serve as a safe haven for terrorists.”

He mentioned, “Peace talks are the only ways to find a sustainable, political, lasting solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, and therefore we call on all parties to negotiate in good faith, and on the Taliban also to stop providing support to Al Qaeda or international terrorist groups, and then we need to see a reduction in the level of violence.”

NATO SG Stoltenberg reported, “NATO’s presence in Afghanistan has changed significantly over the last years, not many years ago, we had more than 100,000 NATO troops in a big combat operation” highlighting “Now we are around 10,000 troops in the train, assist and advice operation, that demonstrates the strength of the Afghan security forces and their capabilities that they have developed over the last years, with support from NATO.”

He concluded, “When it comes to our military presence, we will make decisions together based on the situation in Afghanistan and of course the progress in the peace talks, and that’s the main focus now to make sure that there has been progress in the peace talks.”