NATO chief: what’s needed to improve Russia ties

"NATO is here to say. Russia is here to say. So we're going to have some kind of relationship," Stoltenberg said.

By: Associated Press | Brussels | Published:October 28, 2014 3:50 pm
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gives a policy speech entitled "A unique Alliance with a clear course" at an event hosted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, in Brussels on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. (Source: AP) NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gives a policy speech entitled “A unique Alliance with a clear course” at an event hosted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, in Brussels on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. (Source: AP)

NATO’s new secretary general says only a strong Western alliance can negotiate better ties with Russia.

Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that his experience as Norway’s prime minister was that robust defense capabilities and a strong trans-Atlantic bond were fundamental to bring about constructive relations with Russia.

In his first policy speech since taking office Oct. 1, Stoltenberg said there was no contradiction between wanting to keep NATO strong and continuing to attempt to engage with the leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“NATO is here to say. Russia is here to say. So we’re going to have some kind of relationship,” Stoltenberg said. The question, he said, is “what kind.”

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