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    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels

    Stoltenberg: Isolating Russia 'Not Good' for NATO and World Stability

    © AP Photo / Virginia Mayo
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    NATO has to engage with Russia because it is "not going to go away," Stoltenberg said during a Q&A session at the NATO Parliament Assembly in Norway.

    STAVANGER (Sputnik) – Isolating Russia is not good for NATO and for world stability, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday.

    "We have to engage with Russia because Russia isn’t going to go away and there is no alternative to try and isolate Russia because Russia is our biggest neighbor."

    "And therefore the idea of isolating Russia is not good for us and it’s not good for world stability and peace."

    Stoltenberg added that Russia is a member of the UN Security Council, "so every time we try and find a solution, for instance, the chemical weapons in Syria, or the nuclear deal in Iran, or we will look for a political solution to the war in Syria, or we look into any other big issues, then in one way or another Russia will be involved."

    Russia’s relations with the US-led military bloc have been strained since the start of the Ukrainian crisis in early 2014, when NATO had taken the decision to bolster its presence in the region and stepped up air patrols along Russia's western border prompting concerns in Moscow over a military buildup.

    Russia’s recent military operations in Syria, where its attack aircraft have been bombing Islamic State targets for almost two weeks, further escalated tensions after NATO member state Turkey said a Russian jet had violated its airspace crossing its border with Syria. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed last week that Su-30 Flanker multirole fighter had briefly entered Turkish airspace due to poor weather conditions on October 3.


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