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The NATO needs to establish better relations with Russia on the issues of arms control and political dialogue, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a Heritage Foundation event in Washington, DC on Friday.
"We are all the losers if we move into a new Cold War, new arms race. So we have to utmost to find that balance between being firm, predictable, delivering credible attempts of defense, but at the same time trying to develop a better relationship with Russia including arms control and political dialogue with Russia," Stoltenberg said.
At the same time, the senior official noted that the bloc was working with Russia in part through the Arctic Council in order to address some of the challenges associated with the High North
"I still believe it is important to try to keep tensions down in the high north. And the reality is that partly because this is a very vulnerable area, for also environmental reasons, and we are also working together with Russia addressing some of the challenges in the High North," Stoltenberg said.
Stoltenberg also added that NATO works with Russia through the Arctic Council, which includes many members of NATO, on search, rescue, the environment and fish stocks.
While it is important to maintain a strong presence in the High North, Stoltenberg said that it is also essential to have cooperation in that area between NATO and Russia.
NATO has also been significantly expanding its presence in Eastern Europe after the outburst of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014 using alleged Russian interference in the Ukrainian internal activities as a pretext.
Moscow has many times asserted its protests against the NATO military buildup stating that this move will undermine regional balance and result in a new arms race.
2018.09.14 / 21:09