: Radio Poland: Russia not a threat but our bolstering of eastern flank to go ahead, NATO chief says

11:51 Apr. 7, 2016

Radio Poland: Russia not a threat but our bolstering of eastern flank to go ahead, NATO chief says

Russian paratrooper fires a weapon during the "Paratrooper's platoon" military game at a Dubrovichi shooting range outside of Ryazan, some 170 kms south east of Moscow, Russia, Aug. 4, 2015 (AP Photo)

Russia does not represent an "immediate threat" to Europe, Stoltenberg notes

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said at the Atlantic Council in Washington that Russia does not represent an "immediate threat" to Europe but that a bolstering of NATO's eastern flank will occur regardless.

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His statements come in the lead up to a NATO summit in Warsaw this July.

"We have to set up a chain of new headquarters in the eastern part of our Alliance, boosting our ability to plan and exercise, and to reinforce if needed," Stoltenberg said.

"NATO is becoming more agile and better prepared," he said of NATO developments over the last 12 months.

Watch also Europe on course to renew penalties on Kremlin leaders

"We are reinforcing our collective defence, the largest reinforcement since the end of the Cold War. NATO's Response Force is now three times bigger, with a brigade-sized high-readiness force at its core."

However, fielding questions from journalists, he argued that "NATO is not looking for a confrontation with Russia. We will avoid a new Cold War - we are counting on a dialogue with Russia."

Read also Zero credibility no problem for Russia in trial of tortured Ukrainian hostage

Poland has been consistently pushing for a consolidation of NATO's presence in Central and Eastern Europe since the Russia-Ukrainian crisis erupted.

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