Published: Mon, April 30, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Stoltenberg spoke about a dual approach to Russian Federation

Stoltenberg spoke about a dual approach to Russian Federation

As a meeting of alliance foreign ministers put on a united front on the need to counter Russian "aggression", Pompeo hammered home one of Trump's oldest themes - demanding that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members pay their way.

"NATO should not return to business as usual with Russian Federation until Moscow shows a clear change in its actions", he added.

"NATO is wonderful, but it helps Europe more than it helps us", Trump said ahead of his meeting with the German leader.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters: "We are not in the old Cold War, but we are neither in the strategic partnership we tried to build after the Cold war".

The NATO chief said they also discussed the situation in Syria.

Asked about the possible interference of Russian Federation in the process of Macedonia's NATO accession, Stoltenberg said at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council that it was the fundamental right of every nation to decide on its path and belonging to a certain security framework.

The alliance remains open to talks with Russian Federation, the secretary general said, and the channels must remain open especially when tensions on the continent are high. Another of Pompeo's objectives in Brussels is to prod allies, particularly Germany, to meet their commitments to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024, according to the official.

Stoltenberg said Pompeo's presence at the meeting so soon after taking the reins of the State Department was "a great expression of the importance of the alliance and the importance we attach to the alliance". That commitment was made in 2014 and thus far only six of the 28 countries who made the pledge meet the goal.

The foreign ministers also agreed on the outlines of a training mission to Iraq to be launched in July. "It reconfirms the commitment of the USA and President Trump to the transatlantic bond".

Earlier, Stoltenberg said that the plans of the Alliance do not include full isolation of Russian Federation.

"I strongly believe that one of the best weapons we have in the fight against terrorism is to train local forces", Stoltenberg said last week in a press conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, adding, ".in the long run it's better to enable local forces to stabilize their own country and to fight terrorism themselves".

The new secretary of state is set to begin a Middle East tour over the weekend, with visits planned for Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel.

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