Stoltenberg: NATO's expansion is not a provocation

The Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, stated on Thursday that he doesn’t agree with Moscow’s opinion that the expansion of the alliance is provocative in nature.

"No, I don’t understand the opinion that NATO’s expansion in central Europe is a provocative stance as is expressed in Russia," he said, while lecturing at Oxford University.

Stoltenberg stressed that each country is free to choose its own way.

"It is not NATO that is expanding, but Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Hungary are expressing their willingness to join the Alliance," the Secretary-General explained.

He stressed that neither the Russian Federation nor other countries have the right to decide the fate of neighboring countries.

"Russia should relax and accept that their neighbors can choose their own way by themselves," Stoltenberg said.

Earlier it was reported that Russia deployed Iskander missile systems to the Kaliningrad region as well as Bastion coastal defense missile systems.

  Russia, NATO, Stoltenberg