MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Shoigu said earlier Thursday: "We are ready to restore cooperation with the Pentagon. But attempts to build dialogue from a position of strength with regard to Russia are futile."
"I have no need to respond to the Russian statement at all. NATO has always stood for military strength and protection of the democracies and the freedoms we intend to pass on to our children," Mattis said.
The United States is not in a position to cooperate on a military level with Russia but will engage in political interaction with Moscow, Mattis said on Thursday.
"What we will do is we will engage politically. We are not in a position right now to collaborate on a military level, but our political leaders will engage and try to find common ground or a way forward where Russia, living up to its commitments, will return to a partnership… with NATO."
During the last NATO summit in July, NATO resolved to strengthen its military presence in Eastern Europe on a rotational basis with four battalions in Poland and in the Baltic nations. During the 2014 summit, NATO established a 5,000-strong Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in response to the alleged Russian threat.