tv NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg on Russia- Ukraine CSPAN February 17, 2022 7:46pm-8:06pm EST
we'll watch going forward. i think you raise a very, very interesting and important question. thanks for quick sensitivityty that concludes the pressure unchecked presser we appreciate very much. thank you. >> nato secretary-general also addressed reporters at nato's headquarters. he said there's no sign of a russian military withdrawal or de-escalation along the ukraine border pretty said russia's military buildup on the border is continuing. good afternoon. nato allies a continue to strong diplomatic efforts to find a political solution to these crisis. triggered by russia's a buildup in and around ukraine.
despite moscow's claims we have seen no sign of withdrawal or de-escalation so far. on the contrary, russia's a build up appears to continue. we continue to monitor developments very closely. we call on russia to do it they said and withdraw their forces. from the borders of ukraine britt this will be an important first step towards a peaceful political solution. today we met with our close partners ukraine and a georgia. we address the continue threat of russian aggression and made a strong political and practical support for both countries.e nato and allies are helping a crane boost its ability to defend itself.
self-defense is enshrined in the un charter. allies are helping ukraine to uphold that rate. including with the trainers and equipment for ukraine and armed forces. cyber and intelligent expertise with significant support. we also discuss the presence of forces in the georgia region. in the vote of the russian recommending the recognition of the non- government control areas. we all agree that would be a further blatant violation of ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. and of the agreements undermining the efforts to find a political solution. today allies confirmed the door
remains open and a decision on nato's membership is for nato allies to take and no one else. the right of each nation to choose its own path is absolutely fundamental for european and transatlanticeu security. and it must be respected. nato allies restated their strong support for sovereignty and territorial integrity of both georgia and ukraine. we cannot accept the terms of influence where big powers bully, intimidate or dictate to others. there can be no decisions abouto ukraine without ukraine. and no decisions about georgia without georgia. we agreed that in times of tension, dialogue is even more
important. nato remains open to engaging with russia in good faith. allies are ready to sit down with the russia and the council, address a wide range of issues and find common ground. and a final session we met with our close partners finland, sweden and the european union. we share the same values, we face the same challenges and the crisis in and around ukraine affects us all. so we agree that it is even more important now that we continue together. bring this crisis to a peaceful solution. without them ready to take their questions. >> okay will go to wall street journal. reporter: thank you very much. are you concerned mr. secretary comments reports out of russia
about hostilities around done bass, firing and possible incursions could be used as a pretextt for russia to attack? >> we are concerned that russia is trying to stage a pretext for an armed attack against ukraine. there is still no clarity, no certainty about russian intentions. we don't know what will happen but we do know russia has amassed the biggest force we have seen for decades in and around ukraine. there are many russian intelligence officers operatinge in ukraine might have seen attempts to stage a pretext to provide an excuse for invading
this is of i concern. this is the reason why also white nato has exposed the russian actions and the efforts when it comes to disinformation. but harder for them to invade ukraine. we continue to call it russia to de-escalate, withdraw forces and engage in a political dialogue. >> okay will go to bbc. >> thank you secretary-general. you have accused a rush of disinformation. i wonder if they could make the
same charges against the alliance? there were predictions for example there might be an invasion on the 16th which never happened. russia's always said it is not going to invade ukraine. except they've got more than 100,000 troops. also they're not clear as to how many troops there are there 100,000? more than 100,000? is there a danger, accusing russia disinformation they could just turn to you and say you put out disinformation about coups that have not happened. about false flag operations that have not happened. how would you respond to that? >> by just referring to what we have described. our tax on the ground. we have shared intelligence, with shared information was if
shared information is available for everyone for something you can monitor by commercial satellites. no one is trying to deny the text a large force of ukraine. that is a publicly available information. what nobody knows the whole time is that we know capacity but we do not know with certainty the intentions. if they combine what they know about the forces, what they know they have specifically stated that will be military technical consequences. you know the track record of russia that have used force if you combine that top of that also the fact the operating
inside ukraine they are serious reason to be concerned with that is why we are conveying that is why they brought support to ukraine so they can defend themselves and also increase the presence of nato troops. all of this we do to prevent an attack on ukraine. the fact that we are describing with one 100% certainty we describe it also to prevent it from happening. so the main story, the main message when nato allies and last autumn to describe the buildup, that was questioned. they describe the most likely plan that was to reach more than 100,000 troops, that was
questioned. that has now happened. now we need to keep the next step from happening. that is exactly why we're doing all the things we are doing and calling russia to de-escalate and also the high cost they'll have to pay if they use force. >> we will go to the national news agency of ukraine. >> 's heritage and according to the public with available information coming from you create russian troops from belarus. when you bring along the borders of ukraine. my question is did nato share the concern they could be staying for belarus? and what would be the direction of nato for that to happen?
>> after many years now european security environment. with the illegal annexation of crimea with the russian support. and now with the large number of combat troops in and around the ukraine. and also of close closer closer integration of russian forces. so that ise exactly why we have reacted in the way we have with nato. we have strength and our presence in the east witht the presence with eight defensive presence with groups in the eastern part in the baltic countries and poland. that's also the reason what has happened in and of the ukraine and the russian troops they are now considering the next steps including groups in romania and the southeastin alliance.
so, nato has to respond when we see aggressive actions by russia. but we continue to strive for dialogue, for de-escalation and we believe it's important and diplomacy. believes in dialogue. and therefore we call on russia to dialogue with nato. >> thank you so much. can you tell us more about the meeting with the defense minister from georgia? we are also awaiting exercises in march. the second point, mr. zelensky said today ukraine needs welcome to nato yet all not all members of the alliance, how would you respond to that? thank you so much for. >> we had a good meeting with the both the defense minister
from georgia and ukraine. i think in that meeting allies is strong support to both countries.ts it provides support to georgia and ukraine and different ways. when brought training past the building will be nothing later on this year. ofof a part of that exercise weo together and it demonstrates been away how we are workingin closely together. the black sea region is of strategic importance for nato. what happens there we are in the states that nato allies and we have there are two very close partners georgia and ukraine. so to work closely with them isu important for us and important
for the partners and that was also clearly confirmed today. >> we and our position is not changed. nothe decisions made are still advanced for the focus now is on reform. it is to help both ukraine and georgia to organize their defense and security institutions we continue. cooks either phil stewart from reuters. belarus president of today's country could host nuclear weapons of their field threatened by the west who would be responsible? >> it's not a threat. nato is a defensive alliance are we approved it for more than 70 years that we are there to protect and defend. we're not there to provoke a conflict but to prevent a conflict.
we are of course concerned what we see russia is organizing its nuclear capable missiles. they will deploy them we have seen also missiles and belarus. and that missiles are dual capable missiles that could also carry a nuclear warhead. that is part of the pattern we see braid the reason we are concerned and white were being concerned for over long periods of time, this is a development that is taken the place over several years. one of the most important agreements nato allies have reached and made with russia is strictly banning all weapons globally but also in europe. and russia deployed that treaty and that has undermined. we are taking decisions and
steps to beon able to protect ad the more dangerous environment including the russian nuclear investments. >> thank you. could you tell us what has to happen on the ground they can their real signs of de-escalation? the second question russian is about to hand over their response to the u.s. proposals are you also expecting them to send a response for the proposal as well? thank you. >> we are waiting for a response from russia. we have received from russia in december a draft security treaty that russia wants to sign with nato. we met in the council were this
proposal was discussed. we have sent to russia our proposals. we list and go through arms control, missiles, entrance and we believe these are topics where there is room for common ground to find solutions. that will improve the security for nato allies and for the people of russia. arms control is good for all of us. it will strengthen the security for russia and for nato allies. so, the reason we have conveyed these proposals as we believe we sit down and good faith as we have done in the past we can actually reach agreements which are strengthening the security of all countries including of
course russia. we are waiting for the responseo we have not yet received any response. but i continue to believe the nato council was established by russia is the best platform to engage when nato and russia have issues to discuss. and that nato council is an all weather institution it is even more important we meet now when tensions are high and things are difficult. and so we are ready to meet. i invited russia to a series of meetings to address their concerns and to to try to find a common way forward. your first question was? we have to see a real withdrawal andea of course you have tos understand this is a buildup that is taken place over many
months. the whole. it actually started last spring we have seen the number of troops going a bit up and down. we have seen some forces moving in and some moving out. but the trend the net effect is minute steady increase. the facts are putting a battle tank on a train and move it in a similar direction does not prove withdrawal of troops. that is not the same as real de-escalation. these capabilities are moving around all the time in andnd ou. it has to be a meaningful withdrawal, a meaningful de-escalation for. >> u.s. senate has been a racist we now return to live gavel to gavel coverage. nations be confirmed en bloc, the motions to reconsider, be considered made and laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, that no furtheti