20:54 GMT16 June 2021
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    It was announced earlier Monday that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will accompany the upcoming bilateral meeting between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to the June 16 summit, Biden will meet with members of the NATO mutual defense alliance.

    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday that he and Biden came to a consensus that efforts to contain Russia must continue alongside pushes for dialogue. 

    "We … discussed Russia. We agree on the dual-track approach meaning deterrence, defense and dialogue with Russia," Stoltenberg expressed after his meeting with the US president. "Dialogue with Russia is not a sign of weakness." 

    "We are strong, we are united and then we can talk to Russia. We need to talk to Russia," he added. "Even if we don’t believe in a better relationship with Russia we need to manage [the] difficult relationship with Russia – arms control, transparency, risk reductions. All of these issues are important."

    "I welcomed the extension of START III," referring to the bilateral nuclear disarmament treaty between the US and Russia. The treaty - extended in February - is now set to end in February 2026. 

    Stoltenberg and Biden also touched on international terrorism, climate change, cyber threats and China.

    "The rise of China poses some opportunities for our economies for trade and we need to engage with China on issues like climate change and arms control," he said, emphasizing that China does not share NATO's values so the alliance must work with Pacific allies, primarily Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan, to curb Beijing's economic growth and investment in advanced military capabilities. 

    According to the NATO chief, matters related to China will be addressed again when NATO leaders meet with Biden. 

    Stoltenberg's comments come days after he advocated for NATO to take a "dual-track approach to Russia." 

    "I cannot tell you today what the language will be and the precise formulations will be in the new Strategic Concept which we will then start to draft after the summit in a few days' time," the NATO chief said during a virtual panel organized by the Brookings Institution. 

    "That will be a process where all allies will be involved, but I sense and I know that there is very broad support in NATO for what we refer to as the dual-track approach to Russia."

    Stoltenberg has also said NATO is currently pursuing a "deterrence and dialogue" approach to Russia.


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