Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Questions Jens Stoltenberg's Fitness for NATO Chief Post

© REUTERS / INTS KALNINSNATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attends a news conference in Riga, Latvia November 29, 2021.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attends a news conference in Riga, Latvia November 29, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.12.2021
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Norwegian politician Jens Stoltenberg, who is 62 years old, has been NATO's secretary-general since October 2014.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has suggested that NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg should look for a different job if he thinks the alliance can discard Euro-Atlantic security principles.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with RT on Wednesday, Lavrov pointed out that one of the cornerstones of Euro-Atlantic security is the principle of "equal and indivisible security" - something that was set out in the Helsinki Final Act of 1975.
It envisages that Euro-Atlantic states do not strengthen their security at the expense of the security of others.

"If Jens Stoltenberg believes NATO members can ignore this principle... then, perhaps, it's time for him to get a different job", Lavrov concluded.

Additionally, Lavrov addressed Stoltenberg's assertions that no one has the right to breach the Washington Treaty - an accord that "keeps the door open to any potential aspirant eager to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization".

"Mr Stoltenberg [...] keeps making some not very appropriate statements. When [he] says loudly and rather arrogantly that nobody is in the position to violate the principle of the Washington treaty [...], he should remember that we are not a participant in that organization, that we are not signatory to that treaty", Lavrov said.

Earlier, Stoltenberg voiced his opposition to the idea of discussing spheres of influence with Russia. He also stated that Russia does not have a say in Ukraine's aspirations to join NATO.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a news conference in Riga, Latvia November 29, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.12.2021
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NATO Chief Speaks Against Conference With Russia on Spheres of Influence
The bloc has repeatedly accused Moscow of "escalating" tensions in Ukraine - claims that Russia sees as a pretext for NATO to deploy its military infrastructure in Eastern Europe.
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