NATO Leaders Concerned over Russia’s Military Build-up in Ukraine

NATO Foreign Ministers held an extraordinary virtual meeting on Friday (7 January 2022) to discuss Russia’s continued military build-up in and around Ukraine. Photo: NATO
NATO Foreign Ministers held an extraordinary virtual meeting on Friday (7 January 2022) to discuss Russia’s continued military build-up in and around Ukraine. Photo: NATO

At the meeting, ministers stressed that any further aggression against Ukraine would have significant consequences and carry a heavy price for Russia. 

The NATO-Russia Council, which brings together all 30 NATO Allies and Russia, met in Brussels on 12 January 2022 to discuss the situation in and around Ukraine, and the implications for European security.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who chaired the meeting, said: “This was not an easy discussion, but that is exactly why it was so important.” 

He noted that NATO Allies are ready to meet again with Russia to discuss a number of topics in greater detail and to put concrete proposals on the table. “There are opportunities for constructive engagement which should not be missed, in the interest of security in Europe,” he said.

Earlier, on 7 January 2022, NATO Foreign Ministers held an extraordinary virtual meeting to discuss Russia’s continued military build-up in and around Ukraine, and the implications for European security.

After the meeting, Stoltenberg said, “Russia’s aggressive actions seriously undermine the security order in Europe. NATO remains committed to our dual-track approach to Russia: strong deterrence and defence, combined with meaningful dialogue. It is a positive signal that Russia is now prepared to come to the table and talk because when tensions are high, dialogue is even more important.”

At the meeting, ministers stressed that any further aggression against Ukraine would have significant consequences and carry a heavy price for Russia. 

The Secretary General said, “We are always ready to listen to Russian concerns and NATO will make every effort to find a political way forward. But for dialogue to be meaningful, it must also address Allies’ long-standing concerns about Russia’s actions. It must be based on the core principles of European security and it must take place in consultation with Ukraine. We are also consulting closely with other key partners, such as Georgia, Moldova, Finland and Sweden, as well as the European Union.”  

Allies continue to stand with Ukraine and fully support its sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the principle that all countries have the right to decide on their own path and their alliances.  

At his press conference, Mr Stoltenberg made clear that NATO will always take the necessary steps to protect and defend Allies, including by strengthening collective defence as necessary.

Courtesy: NATO

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