• Saturday, 13 April 2024

We don't see any imminent military threat from Russia against any NATO ally or region, says Stoltenberg

We don't see any imminent military threat from Russia against any NATO ally or region, says Stoltenberg

Skopje, 21 November 2023 (MIA) - We don't see any imminent military threat from Russia against any NATO ally or the region. But, of course, we remain vigilant, we monitor closely what Russia is doing, and we remain united, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Tuesday's joint press conference with Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski in Skopje. 


"We have military presence in this region with KFOR, with the Headquarters in Sarajevo and with the Office in Belgrade, and we are ready to quickly reinforce and to do what is necessary to defend and protect every ally against any threat. But again, we don't see any imminent military threat against any NATO ally. Then we continue to reiterate our consistent message to Russia that they should refrain from the aggressive actions against neighbors and of course stop the military aggression against Ukraine. And they should respect international law, and also the right for every nation to choose its own path," Stoltenberg told reporters when asked to comment on last week's statement by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that he has information that Russia has a plan for military destabilization on the Balkans.   


One of the reasons why Russian President Putin went to war against Ukraine, Stoltenberg pointed out, was that he didn't want Ukraine to join the Alliance. 


"And he wanted more than that. He actually wanted NATO to guarantee no further NATO enlargement, to remove all its forces from the eastern part of the Alliance. Putin is getting exactly the opposite. He's getting more NATO, more NATO presence in the eastern part of the Alliance, and now two new NATO members - Finland and Sweden. This is a big strategic defeat for President Putin, and it demonstrates again that it was a big mistake to invade Ukraine. I welcome the support from North Macedonia, from NATO allies, to continue to support Ukraine. We just had new announcements today from Germany and also recently from the United States of more military support to Ukraine. So, we will be there to continue to support Ukraine and their right for self-defence against the Russian aggression," said the NATO Secretary General. 


In response to the same question, PM Kovachevski pointed out that the information exchanged between the institutions inside the country, as well as with the allies in NATO, is that there is no threat for the country's stability and security. He underlined that the country and the other NATO member states are fighting against Russian influence in the region.  


"We are a NATO member country and I assure you that the institutions are doing their job. We must not forget that all entities and political stakeholders have an obligation to contribute to peace and stability. Of course the influence from third countries, including Russian influence, exists in the region and they are always trying to find someone who thinks alike in certain individuals, political parties and in certain organizations. But they are not on the level that our institutions have, that NATO member states have, and that our security services have, and they cannot cause destabilization of our country," PM Kovachevski stressed.  


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