NATO Secretary-General on Arms Control, Admitting Georgia, Ukraine
Jens Stoltenberg spoke at an opening conference at the NATO summit London
Photo from Ukrinform-UATV
It’s possible for NATO allies to make deals with Russia, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated at a conference during the first day of NATO meetings in London.
Stoltenberg states that, although NATO’s increased spending was triggered by Russia’s use of military force against Ukraine and Georgia, it also includes dealing with other threats, and believes in the dual-track approach with Russia. There is no contradiction between deterrence and dialogue, Stoltenberg said.
“We need to deliver on the tense of defense, and we are delivering on that. But at the same time, I that we could do more, and we should do more on dialogue. Even if we don’t believe that we can have a better relationship with Russia, we need to manage a difficult relationship,” he said.
The Secretary-General also said that NATO needs to find new ways of addressing arms control in context of dialogue with Russia.
“We need to find, and it will be one of the issues, discussed at the leaders meeting tomorrow [December 4, 2019], how to reinvigorate, to find ways, to conduct credible arms control, especially in the nuclear domain,” he stated.
Pointing out that, almost every single day, Russia keeps violating Georgian sovereignty, a Georgian representative at the conference asked Stoltenberg whether Ukraine and Georgia may be offered membership into the Alliance in the foreseeable future.
“NATO decided at the NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008 […] that Ukraine and Georgia will become members of NATO. This decision still stands. What will be on focus now, how we can help both countries move towards Euro-Atlantic Integration, implementing reforms, modernizing the defense and security institutions […] We are delivering more cooperation in Ukraine and Georgia. This good for counties, but also good for NATO because Georgia and Ukraine are participating in NATO missions and operations, for instance in Afganistan,” Stoltenberg said about both countries.