NATO chief says alliance ready to fend off Russian, Belarusian threats.

REUTERS

REUTERS

NATO has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko against destabilization on the eastern flank of the alliance.

"NATO is a defensive alliance. I don't want to speculate too much. But we are vigilant and we are following very closely what is happening in Belarus. In an emergency, we are of course ready to protect and defend any Ally against any kind of threat emanating from Minsk and Moscow," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Welt am Sonntag, according to a report delivered in German.

Read also NSDC secretary sees oligarchic economy as obstacle to Ukraine's accession to NATO Stoltenberg said Belarus is becoming "more and more dependent" on Russia: "The Allies are seriously concerned about the closer cooperation between Moscow and Minsk in recent months. We have learned in the past that Russia has massively violated the territorial integrity of states like Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova."

The former Norwegian prime minister emphasized that the situation in Belarus would be on the agenda of the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels scheduled for June 14.

Also on top agenda are issues including Russia's aggressive moves and shifts in global security related to the strengthening China.

Translation: Yevgeny Matyushenko

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