NATO rules out any halt to expansion, despite Russian demand

Nato

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says Russia can have no say over who should be allowed to join the military organization.

It’s a rejection of a key part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands for easing tensions with Ukraine. Stoltenberg’s remarks Friday came after he chaired an extraordinary meeting of NATO foreign ministers amid fears that Russia might invade Ukraine.

It’s the first in a series of high-level talks over the next week aimed at easing the tensions.

Putin wants NATO to halt membership plans for all countries, including Ukraine. Stoltenberg says NATO “will not compromise on core principles, including the right for every nation to decide its own path.”

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