Stoltenberg: Moscow's Signals About Continuation of Diplomatic Efforts Are Encouraging
12:57 GMT 15.02.2022 (Updated: 13:03 GMT 15.02.2022)
© Sputnik / Alexei Danichev / Go to the mediabankA general view shows the St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin's Spasskaya Tower
© Sputnik / Alexei Danichev/
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Signs from Moscow regarding the need to continue diplomatic efforts are encouraging, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday.
"There are signs from Moscow that diplomacy should continue, this gives grounds for cautious optimism but, so far, we have not seen any sign of de-escalation on the ground", Stoltenberg told a briefing ahead of a NATO defence ministers meeting.
He also noted that the alliance is expecting for Russia's response to NATO's security proposals.
© JOHN THYSNATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gestures as he speaks during a joint press conference with Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration after their bilateral meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on January 10, 2022.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gestures as he speaks during a joint press conference with Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration after their bilateral meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on January 10, 2022.
© JOHN THYS
The chief of the alliance also warned Moscow against recognising the self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, saying it would be "a blatant violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty".
Russia previously put forth draft agreements, suggesting a restriction on troop and missile deployments. The security proposals offered by Moscow also stipulated that NATO would not expand near the Russian border. The bloc responded by sending its own security proposals, but ignored the Ukraine issue, instead reaffirming its "open-door" policies.
Russia's proposals were made as a bid to de-escalate the crisis regarding Ukraine since the US and Britain were hyping allegations that Russia was about to "invade" its neighbour. Moscow has repeatedly denied any "invasion plans", saying the whole narrative was fake, and adding that Ukraine plans a provocation in Donbass, where Kiev has been waging a war against the self-proclaimed republics for almost 8 years.