12:44 GMT11 July 2020
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    NATO cannot return to friendly relations the alliance used to have with Russia, Dutch Minister of Defense Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told reporters on Wednesday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — Commenting on the position of US President Donald Trump on Russia, Hennis-Plasschaert told reporters that NATO and Russia used to have friendly relations for a long time, but the situation could not stay the same due to a series of recent events, referring to Crimea’s reunification with Russia and Moscow's alleged involvement in the conflict in Ukraine.

    Earlier this week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that US President Donald Trump, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had told NATO that they fully supported the dual-track approach, which was about defense and dialogue.


    Since 2014, relations between Russia and the European Union and the United States, deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine. Brussels, Washington and their allies introduced several rounds of sanctions against Russia on the pretext of its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, which Moscow has repeatedly denied. In response to the restrictive measures, Russia has imposed a food embargo on some products originating in countries that have targeted it with sanctions.


    Since then, NATO has been building up its military presence in Europe, particularly in eastern European countries bordering Russia, using Moscow's alleged interference in Ukraine as a pretext.


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