NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday called on Moscow to be transparent, de-escalate and reduce tensions, following Russia’s military build-up near Ukraine.
”Any future Russian aggression against Ukraine would come at a high price and have serious political and economic consequences for Russia,” Stoltenberg said, following the first day of a meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Riga. The Secretary General said ministers also addressed Belarus’ hybrid campaign against Allies, as well as NATO’s leading role in arms control.
Stoltenberg said the Ministers were clear that there must be no misunderstanding or miscalculation on NATO’s resolve. “We stand together to defend and protect all Allies,” he said, adding, “We will continue to actively assess the situation and ensure we have all necessary plans in place.”
With respect to Ukraine, Stoltenberg said, “We commend Ukraine for its measured response to Russia’s continued provocations.”
With respect to Belarus, Stoltenberg criticized the Alexander Lukashenko regime’s use of vulnerable people to put pressure on Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania.