NATO Secretary General calls 2014 a 'Black Year' with violence caused by Russia undermining world safety

The danger coming from Russia is not limited to Ukraine. Thus, NATO supports the international sanctions against the destabilizing behavior of the Russian Federation.

This is stated in the Annual Report of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Censor.NET reports.

"The impact of the violence and insecurity caused by Russia and Russian-backed separatists has not been limited to Ukraine. This violence can undermine the safety, stability and well-being of people around the world, as demonstrated by the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines passenger flight MH17 in July. NATO supports the sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU), the G7 and others as part of an international effort to address Russia's destabilizing behavior," the document reads.

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The NATO Secretary General stated that the alliance must be ready to face further challenges after a "black year" of Russian intervention in Ukraine and terror attacks on Europe's streets, according to The Daily Star.

Unveiling NATO's 2014 annual report, Stoltenberg said a new rapid reaction force would help cope with changing security environment but urged the 28 member states to keep their commitments to boost defense spending.

"2014 was not a good year for European security. In fact it was a black year," said Stoltenberg, the former Norwegian prime minister, who took over as NATO Secretary General in October.

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"Our security environment has fundamentally changed," he said.

He highlighted Russia's role in Ukraine as a key problem, saying it was defying international norms, destabilizing the country and intimidating its neighbors.

Russia's increased defense capabilities including the ability to launch snap military exercises on a huge scale were "part of the reason why we have decided to change our defense posture," he said.

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He noted that despite economic problems, Moscow has increased its defense budget. "We have seen Russia over a period of many years increase their investment in defense despite financial problems" he said.

"We have seen that Russia is ready to use force," he added, citing Ukraine, and Georgia and Moldova, all former Soviet states which have turned to the West in defiance of Moscow.

Asked about possible contacts with Russia to help ease tensions, Stoltenberg said he was likely to meet Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference next week, even though practical cooperation with Russia had been suspended.

Источник: https://en.censor.net.ua/n322410