He stated this in an interview with the CNN channel, a transcript of which was posted on the channel's website.
"This, I think, is correct to say that NATO's relationship with Russia is more difficult than it has been any time since the end of the Cold War," he said, while commenting on a recent statement made by U.S. President Donald Trump on Twitter, who noted that "our relationship with Russia is at an all-time and very dangerous low."
The NATO secretary general also said that at the end of the Cold War the United States hoped to develop a close partnership with Russia.
"At the end of the Cold War, we hoped to develop a close partnership with Russia, but especially after the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, and the continued Russian destabilization of eastern Ukraine, and the relationship between NATO and Russia has deteriorated considerably," Stoltenberg said.
He also added that a dual approach in the form of defense, deterrence and dialogue was currently applied.
"Russia is our neighbor. Russia is there to stay. So we are pursuing it, a dual approach, which is defense, deterrence and dialogue. And we believe that as long as we are strong, as long as we are predictable, we can also engage in political dialogue with Russia to try to avoid escalation and to avoid a new Cold War," Stoltenberg said.
According to him, Russia's behavior was a result of such a deterioration of relations, implying a violation of international law, annexation of Crimea and destabilization of eastern Ukraine.
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