Former US Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was friends with two leaders of NATO member countries.
According to Daalder, Putin has warm relations not only with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but also with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is another politician, whom Putin is friends with, he added, Politico reports.
"Erdogan is hardly the only NATO leader to have established warm relations with Putin. Just think of Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi a few years ago, or Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban today," Ivo Daalder, Former US Ambassador to the UN said.
The American diplomat noted that it was only Erdogan who decided to purchase state-of-the-art air defense missiles from Moscow rather than use Western equipment that other NATO countries had at their disposal.
On August 9, US President Joe Biden said that the United States was committed to the transatlantic alliance. Washington, in light of Russia's actions, is going to create a desirable future together with allies. He called NATO "an indispensable alliance", having stressed that Washington's allies were committed to NATO stronger than ever.
"Today, we see all too clearly how NATO remains an indispensable alliance for the world of today and the world of tomorrow. Our Alliance is closer than ever. It is more united than ever. And when Finland and Sweden bring the number of Allies to 32, we'll be stronger than ever — stronger than ever," Biden said.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in turn, expressed regret about the fact that the alliance had to stop cooperation with Russia. According to him, NATO still remains open to dialogue with Moscow, seeks to reduce existing risks and prevent an escalation of tensions.
"For more than 30 years, NATO tried to build a partnership with Russia, developing dialogue and practical cooperation in areas of common interest. Despite this, over the past decade, Russia has continuously violated the norms and principles that contributed to a stable and predictable European security order. Russia's brutal and unlawful war of aggression against Ukraine has shattered peace and gravely altered the security environment. In light of its hostile policies and actions, NATO cannot consider Russia to be a partner. The Russian Federation is the most significant and direct threat to Allies' security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. However, NATO remains willing to keep open channels of communication with Moscow to manage and mitigate risks, prevent escalation and increase transparency. NATO does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia. The Alliance will continue to respond to Russian threats and hostile actions in a united and responsible way," Stoltenberg said on July 14.