NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that he invited Russia and allies for new talks in the NATO-Russia Council format to ward off a possible Russian attack on Ukraine. Stoltenberg stressed that the alliance was ready to listen to Russia’s point of view but would not compromise on principles such as NATO’s ability to defend its allies.
“We send a very clear message to Russia if they once again decide to use force against Ukraine it will come with a high cost for Russia — economic, financial, political sanctions. NATO allies also provide support to Ukraine,” he said and added that his side will “make every effort to find a political way forward.”
In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that Russia was waiting for a response from the West on sweeping security demands put at meetings last week before continuing talks over Ukraine.