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NATO Not to Renew Interaction With Russia Regardless of ISIL Threat

Sputnik News

15:51 14.05.2015(updated 18:03 14.05.2015)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the number of military exercises and patrols on NATO's eastern border will be increased.

ANTALYA (Turkey) (Sputnik) – NATO has no plans to renew its practical cooperation with Russia regardless of threats from the Islamic State, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.

"NATO decided last spring to suspend all practical cooperation with Russia as a response to the aggressive actions of Russia in Crimea, in particular the illegal annexation of Crimea. We also decided to keep open for political dialogue….But our decision remains unchanged: Practical cooperation with Russia is suspended," Stoltenberg told journalists in Turkey where a NATO foreign ministers summit is being held.

Jens Stoltenberg also noted that the number of military exercises and patrols on NATO's eastern border will be increased.

'We have increased air policing, we have increased naval presence in the Baltic Sea, and we have also put on the table that exercises with military presence and aircraft. So we have increased all of our presence in the Baltic republics and in addition we are in the process of establishing a 'Spirit Force' and an enhanced state response force, which will make it easier to reinforce if needed in the Baltic states," Stoltenberg said.

On Wednesday, the NATO chief expressed support for anti-Russia sanctions imposed by a number of Western nations that accuse Moscow of involvement in the Ukrainian crisis, a claim that Russia denies.

The Russian mission to NATO issued a statement at the close of the the summit's first day, accusing the military bloc of promoting a simplified 'black and white' picture of Russian belligerence and NATO's 'impeccable' record.

The mission, recently downgraded to 30 representatives, criticized NATO for ignoring Russia's role in enhancing Euro-Atlantic security while downplaying its own military campaigns in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Libya.

The IS, also referred to as ISIS or ISIL, is an extremist organization aiming to establish an Islamic caliphate in territories under its control. It has gained notoriety over the last few years for its multiple executions of foreign hostages as well as attacks on religious and ethnic minorities.


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