June 2, 2016 / 12:32 PM / a year ago

NATO chief says not seeking confrontation with Russia

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg attends a news conference following talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, June 2, 2016. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - The NATO military alliance is not seeking confrontation with Russia by reinforcing its battalions in eastern Europe, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in Berlin on Thursday.

“We are strengthening our collective defense not to provoke a conflict but to prevent a conflict,” Stoltenberg said at a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, adding “we are not in a new Cold War”.

“We do not want confrontation with Russia. On the contrary we strive for a more constructive relationship with Russia.”

Reporting by Noah Barkin and Madeline Chambers; Editing by Michael Nienaber

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