NATO will never agree to withdraw its troops from countries that have joined the Alliance since 1997, because that would make them second-class countries.
This was stated by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in an interview broadcast today on Canadian television CBC, quoted by TASS.
“NATO allies cannot compromise with the absolutely basic principle of European security, and in fact of international security. “This is indeed a key principle,” said the pact’s general.
Of course, one cannot agree that there should be no NATO troops in all countries that join the Alliance after 1997 (including Bulgaria). This, in theory, will means that half of our countries will not be able to be defended by NATO troops. This will be a kind of second category page, which we will never do, “Stoltenberg added.
“We are still ready to participate in the balance, the verifiable measures to reduce non-nuclear weapons, nuclear missiles, and many other measures that will be equally positive for Russia and NATO,” said the Secretary General of the Alliance.
NATO and Russia should sit down at the negotiating table to prevent military force against Ukraine, but it is too early to talk about reducing tensions, Stoltenberg said.
It is too early to talk about this (de-escalation), because we put the proposals on the table for the Russian side, to participate in a series of meetings on important issues of European security in the context of the situation in Ukraine and around it, “said the Pact Secretary General. According to him, Russia did not respond during the meeting. “I think it is important to sit at the negotiating table, especially when tensions are high, to find a political way forward to prevent the use of of Russian military force against Ukraine, “Stoltenberg said.