NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged on Tuesday that relations between the transatlantic alliance and Russia are at “their lowest point since the end of the Cold War,” with Moscow increasingly “more aggressive” abroad and more “repressive” at the domestic level.
Stoltenberg made these claims at a conference at Georgetown University in Washington, where he is on an official visit. “I think we must realize that the relationship between the transatlantic family and Russia is at its lowest point since the end of the Cold War,” he said.
The NATO secretary general pointed to Russia’s “illegal annexation” of Crimea in 2014 and its “continued destabilization” in eastern Ukraine as a turning point .
In recent years, he stressed that there has been “a significant increase” in military spending, which has resulted in a Russia that is increasingly “more aggressive” abroad and more “repressive” at home.
“The outlook is serious”, he warned. Asked about the possibility of NATO expanding with countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, something rejected by Moscow, he stressed that requesting entry into the alliance is a “sovereign decision” of each nation.
Stoltenberg was received yesterday, Monday, at the White House by US President Joe Biden, who expressed his “total support” for the alliance and the strategy agreed at the summit last June by the countries that comprise it.
Then, NATO opted to launch an adaptation process to improve its response to challenges such as Russia’s aggressiveness, cyberattacks or the climate crisis, and clearly placed China as a threat to its security.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) last week expressed concern about the “expansion of the nuclear arsenal” of the Chinese regime , and asked Beijing to accept a dialogue on arms control.
China is not considered an adversary by NATO, but it must “respect its international commitments and act responsibly in the international system,” said Jens Stoltenberg , the body’s secretary general, during a videoconference interview with the head of Chinese diplomacy, Wang Yi.
Stoltenberg “expressed NATO concerns about China’s coercive policies, the expansion of its nuclear arsenal and the lack of transparency in its military modernization ,” the Alliance said in a statement.
“The Secretary General stressed that transparency and reciprocal dialogue on arms control would be beneficial to both NATO and China ,” the text added.
China’s regime has become a source of concern to the allies.
“China’s declared ambitions and determined behavior represent systematic challenges to the international order grounded in rules and in fields that are important for the security of the Alliance,” he said in the declaration adopted at its last summit in June 2021.