NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed his regret for ending cooperation with Russia.

APA reports that Stoltenberg said this in an interview with "Vijesti" newspaper.

"NATO has been trying to improve relations with Russia for decades.

We created the NATO-Russia Council, agreed on the founding act of Russia-NATO, and invited this country to work together to strengthen security in the Euro-Atlantic area.

But Russia refused to build trust and partnership, as well as closer mutual cooperation.

I am very sorry for this," he said.

He added that NATO is ready to open relations with Moscow to manage and reduce risks, prevent escalation and increase transparency.

According to Stoltenberg, relations may change if Russia stops military operations in Ukraine.