NATO’s new Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called on Moscow to comply with international law over Ukraine.
In his first news conference, the Norwegian said the ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine offered an opportunity to improve ties but that Russia still has the power to destabilise the country.
But Stoltenberg then held out an olive branch to President Vladimir Putin, saying the Alliance did not seek confrontation with Russia.
“We need to see clear changes in Russia’s action, a change which demonstrates compliance with international law. But we also underlined at the (NATO) summit in Wales that we still aspire, as we have done for many years, to a constructive and cooperative relationship with Russia.”
On Wednesday, Stoltenberg became NATO’s 13th chief in its 65 year history.
He took over the top job from Anders Fogh Rasmussen, vowing to keep the military alliance strong and keep the bond between North America and Europe rock solid.
In his first news conference, he paid tribute to
NATO partners taking action against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
He also welcomed the ratification by the government of Afghanistan of a NATO plan to train, advise and assist their security forces from January.
NATO troops are due to pull out by the end of the year.
Stoltenberg said his first visits as Secretary-General would be to Poland and Turkey in the coming days.