BERLIN (Sputnik) — She added that dialogue and defense readiness are "two pillars" of modern NATO policy.
"Germany always supports the continuation of dialogue with Russia. And this happened under the framework of the Russia-NATO Council… On the other hand, Germany sees it necessary to strengthen NATO's eastern flank," Merkel said.
NATO has been reinforcing its military presence in Europe, particularly in the Eastern European states, since the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis, citing Russia's alleged interference in the conflict as a justification for the move. Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations, calling NATO's military buildup near Russia’s borders provocative.