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NATO doesn’t want another Cold War: Stoltenberg

NATO doesn’t want another Cold War: StoltenbergNATO is not seeking confrontation with Russia and does not want another Cold War, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has told the BBC.

Stoltenberg said the planned deployment of 4,000 extra troops to Eastern Europe aims to prevent, not provoke conflict. And despite current tensions, the military alliance does not see Russia as a threat.

The relations between the west and Russia worsened following its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in 2014, when the U.S. and European Union imposed sanctions on Russia.

The war in Syria has also been a flashpoint for tensions, with key Western powers accusing Russia of war crimes in its bombardment of opposition-held areas in support of the Syrian government.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected those allegations, and says the idea that Russia has aggressive military designs in Europe as "ridiculous".

Multi-national NATO battalions made up of 1,000 troops each will be deployed to Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania early next year.

They will be led by the US, Britain, Canada and Germany.

But rather than seeking to confront Russia, NATO continues "to strive for a more co-operative and constructive relationship", Stoltenberg said, interviewed during a NATO meeting in Brussels.

"But we have to do that based on collective defence - deterrence," he added.

While NATO did not see any imminent threat from Russia, it was responding to its actions in Ukraine, he said, as well as what he called the use of nuclear rhetoric to intimidate European nations.

NATO says it believes Russia has about 330,000 troops stationed near its western border.
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