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NATO 'Works Hard' for Arms Control With Russia, Stoltenberg Says

Sputnik News

16:07 GMT 08.06.2020

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) believes in dialogue with Russia and is working hard for arms control with that country given that an arms race may be both costly and dangerous, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday.

"We believe in dialogue with Russia," Stoltenberg said. "We strongly believe in arms control. A new arms race will be dangerous and very costly. Therefore, we continue to work hard for arms control with Russia and that's part of what we call the dual track, the dialogue approach to Russia."

Stoltenberg pointed out that in his capacity as a Norwegian politician in the past, he learned that it is possible to talk to Russia and conclude agreements.

"We did that - Norway and Russia - for many, many years on military issues, on energy, on border issues, on many other issues, environment, fisheries. That was not despite of NATO, but it was because of NATO," Stoltenberg said.

The NATO chief said Russia has been more assertive and has been willing to use military force against neighbours Georgia and Ukraine and is modernizing its armed forces and adjusting its doctrines.

"[Russia] is investing heavily in new modern capabilities, including nuclear capabilities, deploying a new missile called SSC-8 missile which can reach European cities… and that undermines the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty - the treaty that bound all intermediate-range weapons," Stoltenberg said. "So, they are heavily modernizing their nuclear arsenals and also adjust their doctrines."

Stoltenberg said NATO has responded to these developments by ensuring it has a credible deterrence and defence.

"Because that's the best way to prevent conflict, to remove any room for doubt, any room for miscalculation about NATO's readiness, willingness to protect all allies. As long as we provide that deterrence, there 'll be no conflict, no attack," Stoltenberg added.


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