Journalist Lucia Abellan notes that it was not only about the 'so-called Russian threat', but also the instability in the countries south of the EU, especially in Libya, Censor.NET reports citing the translation of the Inopressa.
"In your opinion, what are the intentions of Putin under the circumstances after the Minsk agreements?" the journalists asked.
The Secretary noted that the Minsk agreement was the best basis for the conclusion of a negotiated peace, but there had been violations, as well as a large number of fatalities due to these violations. Russia bear special responsibility, as it continues to support the separatists with modern equipment, air defense systems, tanks, he noted. He stated that Russia also has forces in the east of Ukraine, helping the separatists, which violates the Minsk agreement and harms efforts to achieve a political solution through negotiations.
"Do you think Putin may try to break through the corridor via Ukraine to gain direct access to Crimea?" the journalist asked.
The Secretary General noted that it was always difficult to assume what will happen, but NATO had seen what Russia had done up to this point. It had invested a lot in defense and power. He added that the Alliance must react to such actions and it will.
The journalists asked if NATO had suspended cooperation with Russia, but wants to continue the political dialogue, to which Stoltenberg retorted that the Alliance keeps its channels of military contacts open and examines the internal procedures that ensure their functioning. The risk of misunderstandings, situations that could get out of control had increased, Stoltenberg said.
Asked about if he believed in NATO's potential role in Libya the Secretary General noted that the Alliance was ready to help Libya build its military power, when the level of security would allow it. Right now it is impossible, the Secretary General stressed.
He added that NATO was not asked to intervene in the situation with immigrants in the Mediterranean Sea, 'in part because it is the issue of border security and immigration.'