NATO ‘prepared for the worst’ amid tensions with Russia, says alliance chief

NATO 'prepared for the worst' amid tensions with Russia, says alliance chief

NATO has warned Moscow to brace for conflict with the US-led military alliance if it does not abandon its “belligerent foreign policy” and cooperate with the West amid soaring tensions.

In an interview published in the Financial Times on Sunday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the US-led alliance was “prepared for the worst” amid tensions with Moscow over Ukraine.

“NATO’s deterrence is credible and strong. We have to hope and work hard for the best, but be prepared for the worst,” Stoltenberg said, adding that a “risk of conflict” loomed large.

“I am aware of Russia’s history. For centuries they have experienced conflict with neighbours,” he said in the interview. “(But) Russia has an alternative: to co-operate, to work with NATO.”

The top NATO official also refused to offer any security guarantees over the alliance’s eastward expansion, stressing that a non-expansion policy by NATO would breach the alliance’s “core principles.”

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