Baltic arms buildup will ‘prevent conflict,’ says NATO chief Stoltenberg

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DW – June 2, 2016

Speaking with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, NATO chief Stoltenberg has said the bloc is reinforcing its Baltic battalions to prevent a conflict with Russia. He denied being in a “new Cold War” with Moscow.

“We are strengthening our collective defense not to provoke a conflict but to prevent a conflict,” NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told journalists in Berlin on Thursday.

“We do not want confrontation with Russia. On the contrary, we strive for a more constructive relationship with Russia,” he said, adding, “We are not in a new Cold War.”

Recently, NATO members pondered ramping up their military presence in Poland and further east, after Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania said they felt a threat to their territory by the Russian annexation of Crimea.