The head of the Pentagon called on NATO to deal with Russia with the “position of strength”

New Pentagon chief James Mattis during his first trip in his new capacity in Europe meeting with NATO allies, said the need to negotiate with Russia, but “from a position of strength,” according to CNN. On Wednesday in Brussels, Mattis met with the defense Ministers of countries-members of the Alliance.

“While the United States and the Alliance are interested in cooperation with Russia, we must defend itself if Russia decides to act contrary to international law”, — quotes the words of Mattis, CNN.

“We remain open to opportunities to restore cooperation with Moscow, and at the same time, we are realistic in our expectations and recommendations of our diplomats to negotiate from a position of strength,” he said.

During the meeting, Mattis also assured NATO allies in support of the Alliance with the us. However, he warned that if members of the Alliance will not increase its military spending for the common defense, Washington will reduce its support for NATO.

“America will implement its obligations, but if your country does not want to see America reducing its support of the Alliance, each of you must demonstrate a contribution to our common defense,” — said the head of the Pentagon.