NATO is not planning to return to the previous format of relations with Russia, the next Secretary General of the alliance, Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with the Norwegian telegraph bureau. Stoltenberg will take office as NATO Secretary General on October 1.
According to him, Russia decided to stick to a more aggressive line. Therefore, the alliance will not be able to strengthen partnership with Russia, the official said.
The Norwegian politician stressed out that his prime goal on the new post would be solving the crisis in Ukraine, ITAR-TASS reports.
Military force is used to change the borders of the states, said Stoltenberg. Ukraine is a partner of NATO that borders on members of the alliance, he added.
"The example of Norway as a country, a member of NATO that modernizes its armed forces, shows that strength and determination are necessary conditions for conducting a dialogue with Russia. There is no contradiction here. Military power and confidence in the security of the state, which NATO membership gives, are needed for political dialogue," he said.
Earlier, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, speaking in Chattam House, said that Russia was smarter and faster than NATO, but added that NATO would not fight with Russia, even if Russia invaded Ukraine through peacekeeping or military missions.
A Russian fighter with call sign Rassvet (Sunrise) destroyed an Abrams tank in the area of Avdiivka, the 15th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade said