GERMANY MEDIA EUROPE NATO.jpg
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks at a podium discussion at the Media Canter of the Publishing Group Passau (Verlagsgruppe Passau), in Passau, Germany, 10 October 2016.
Photograph: EPA/ARMIN WEIGEL

The heads of NATO, the European Council and the European Parliament said Monday they remain committed to taking a hard line against Russia but that the door for dialogue remains open.

NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Parliament President Martin Schulz issued their call for a policy of strength and dialogue with Russia during a forum in Passau in southern Germany.

Stoltenberg called for a constructive relationship with Russia but said political dialogue was only possible as long as the West remained strong.

Tusk also mentioned normal relations with Russia as a goal, but said that since the extension of EU sanctions imposed over the Ukraine crisis and the Russian annexation of Crimea, nothing had changed.

It was therefore obvious that the sanctions could be extended again - otherwise it would be a clear capitulation.

Schulz said Russia's actions could be condemned, but at the same time the "channels for dialogue must always be left open."

The panel discussion took place within the framework of the "People in Europe" series in the media center of the Passau publishing group and was organized in cooperation with the Munich Security Conference.

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