NATO not trying to isolate Russia, alliance chief says

NATO not trying to isolate Russia, alliance chief says

BRUSSELS: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday isolating Russia is not a goal that the alliance pursues, adding NATO will continue “to strive for a better relationship” with Moscow.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Stoltenberg said “unity” and a “firm” approach were needed towards Russia.

“President Djukanovic and I highlighted the importance of what we call the dual-track approach to Russia,” he said.

“[…] we have to be strong, we have to be united, we have to be firm and we have to react when Russia is violating international rules, for instance, violating the sovereignty, the territorial integrity of a neighbor like Ukraine or when Russia is responsible for cyber-attack or attempts to meddle in our domestic democratic processes as we have seen in several NATO allied countries,” Stoltenberg said.

NATO to patrol Montenegrin airspace

NATO marks on June 5 the first anniversary of Montenegro’s membership to the alliance.

Stoltenberg said NATO will begin air policing patrols over Montenegro on Tuesday using alliance warplanes from Italy and Greece.

“This peacetime mission will ensure the safety of your skies. Whether from civilian or military aircraft in distress or any other threat,” Stoltenberg said.

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