Before the two-day meeting of Defense Ministers of the NATO member countries, the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held a press conference where repeatedly sounded the word "Russia".
The first Secretary General stressed that increased military activity of the Russian Federation will be discussed during the ministerial meeting:
“Maneuvers are actively carried out near our border without warning. Only during this month Russian missiles "Iskander" capable of carrying nuclear warheads, were delivered to Kaliningrad. Russia has suspended agreement with the US on plutonium disposition and continues to destabilize eastern Ukraine, providing military and financial support to the separatists.”
Stoltenberg pointed out that Russia is also responsible for the aggravation of the humanitarian crisis in Syria, where it resumed the bombing of civilian populations.
October 18, the Defense Ministry of RF announced the suspension of air strikes on Aleppo till the end of the humanitarian pause, scheduled for 20 October. According to the Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, the militants would be able to leave Aleppo during the "humanitarian pause". October 20, it was announced that the "humanitarian pause" is extended for four more days.