Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has reiterated NATO has no desire for a new Cold War arms race, instead pledging to create ‘a more positive’ relationship with Russia’.
He spoke in Poland ahead of a key NATO summit between July 8-9, where issues including the deployment of NATO forces in eastern Europe and stability in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia will be on the agenda.
“Ukraine is now in the process of reforming its institutions, fighting corruption, modernizing its different government institutions, and that is the main focus of Ukraine, and they have clearly stated that they have to implement these reforms before Ukraine can apply for membership.”
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The fear among the Baltic states of Russia’s new unconventional war tactics has led to NATO boosting spending and military drills along its eastern flank. In early May, U.S Defence Chief Ash Carter said the possibility of rotating four battalions of troops across NATO member countries in eastern Europe was being considered. Some 3,000-4,000 soldiers along with military equipment would be involved under the proposals, according to Reuters
Russia has frequently warned NATO’s expansion endangers its security.