NATO head Stoltenberg rejects Russian President Putin's statement on expanding the alliance
Photo: Bertrand Guay / Reuters
NATO has never made promises not to expand eastward, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told dpa. Thus, he rejected the accusations of Russian President Vladimir Putin that NATO “cheated” Moscow, reports “Evropeyskaya Pravda”.
According to Stoltenberg, the founding agreement of the North Atlantic Alliance states that any country can become a member of the organization. “Secondly, there are documents concerning the 70s and 90s – the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, the Russia-NATO constituent act and many other treaties that make it clear that countries have the right to choose their own path,” – he added, calling it a fundamental principle of European security.
The head of NATO also noted that the allies categorically deny such promises. “Former President [Soviet Union Mikhail] Gorbachev said that the topic of NATO expansion was not raised until the reunification of Germany,” concluded Stoltenberg.
The fact that the alliance “cheated” Moscow, Putin said earlier on December 23 at the annual big press conference. “Not a single inch to the east,” we were told in the 1990s. So what? Cheated. They just cheated insolently. Five waves of NATO enlargement. And now, please, in Romania, now, in Poland, there are corresponding [missile] systems, ”the president said.