NATO Secretary General urges Russia to respect sovereignty of Belarus

On February 12-13, NATO Defense Ministers met in Brussels to address key issues for the Alliance. During today’s press conference in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has answered a question put by Belsat TV anchorman Syarhei Pelyasa.

Ahead of the two-day meeting, Jens Stoltenberg outlined the topics for discussion, including what more NATO could do to build stability in the Middle East, the Alliance’s support for Afghanistan and challenges posed by Russia’s missile systems.

On Thursday, the ministers assessed the challenge posed by Russia’s new missile systems after Russia’s deployment of the SSC-8 missile led to the demise of the INF Treaty.

Belsat: “Belarus keeps respecting the INF Treaty even after it is over. But we see that Putin’s pressure on Belarus is getting stronger and stronger. What do you think NATO can do to avoid potential placement of Russian missiles not only in Kaliningrad, but also in Belarus? Do you think it is good time to meet with Belarusian officials and talk about these initiatives?”

Jens Stoltenberg: Belarus is a partner of NATO, we appreciate the partnership with Belarus. Belarus is a sovereign nation. It takes sovereign decisions, and we respect those decisions. We also urge, of course, Russia to respect the sovereignty and integrity of all nations in Europe, including Belarus. For us, this is about respecting that all nations in Europe are sovereign nations with the right to make their own decisions without interference from neighbours.

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