NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday the military alliance wanted dialogue with Russia, after U.S. president-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Monday to work towards “constructive cooperation”.
“The message from NATO has been that we want dialogue with Russia. Russia is our biggest neighbor, Russia is there to stay and especially when tensions run high and especially when we face many different security challenges, it is important to have dialogue,” Stoltenberg told reporters before talks with EU defense ministers in Brussels.
“We think it is important to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all nations, including Ukraine and therefore we will never respect or accept the violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine,” he continued.
Stoltenberg said Trump had shown during his presidential campaign that he was a “big fan on NATO”.
“A strong NATO is important for Europe but is also important for the United States,” he said, adding he agreed with Trump that Europeans should step up their defense spending.