NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg met German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday to discuss the most pressing diplomatic issues requiring cooperation between allied nations.
Stoltenberg said NATO was “watching developments in Belarus closely,” following weeks of demonstrations challenging the re-election of the country’s authoritarian ruler, and insisted that NATO supported “a sovereign and independent Belarus”.
The Secretary-General also warned Minsk that to use NATO as an “excuse to crackdown on peaceful protesters” was “absolutely unjustified” as the allied forces do not have a military presence in the region.
Stoltenberg was in Berlin to represent NATO in a series of discussions between European Union members, including a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Wednesday.
Germany currently holds the presidency of the European Union Council.