NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenber, held intensive talks on Friday with the leaders of the Scandinavian countries about the security in Europe, amid the unprecedented Russian military build-up in an around Ukraine.
Stoltenberg discussed with Finish President, Sauli Niinistö, and Swedish Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson in particular about the security situation in eastern Europe. The conversation occurred shortly before the extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the NATO member states.
“Spoke with President Sauli Niinistö about the security situation in Europe and Russia’s build-up in and around Ukraine,” wrote Stoltenberg on twitter while called on Russia to de-escalate the tense situation at the border with Ukraine.
Secretary General reminded that NATO continues to coordinate with their close partner Finland. “NATO respects the right of every country to choose its own path,” wrote Stoltenberg.
Austrian economist Günther Fehlinger reacted to Stoltenber’s message by calling on the Scandinavian country to joint the Alliance. “I call for Finland to join NATO now,” said Fehlinger.
Similar message the Secretary General delivered also after the meeting with Andersson. “Sweden is a valued NATO partner and we support every nation’s right to freely choose their own security arrangements,” said Stoltenberg.
NATO-Russia Council meeting is scheduled for 12 January by the NATO Secretary General to discuss issues related to European security, especially on the situation in and around Ukraine; as well as issues related to military activities.
Prior to that, Stoltenberg discussed the matter with NATO Foreign Ministers on Friday.
“NATO Foreign Ministers stand united in our approach to Russia”, said Stoltenberg after the meeting, while emphasized that upcoming NATO-Russia Council next week is a positive sign and an opportunity for Moscow to show it is serious about dialogue and diplomacy.
Even the Biden administration is heading into next week’s talks with Russia still unsure whether Moscow is serious about negotiations, though according to NBC News the U.S. officials are ready to propose discussions on scaling back U.S. and Russian troop deployments and military exercises in Eastern Europe, in order to de-escalate the situation.