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It is important not to close the door to Russia, which is led by a man whose No. 1 goal is to create rifts within NATO and the European Union, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe Gen. Philip M. Breedlove said at the Atlantic Council on June 8 .Breedlove suggested that path could be found by finishing the work started at NATO's Wales Summit in 2014 .Breedlove's call for keeping the door open with Russia follows more direct advice from former U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a distinguished statesman at the Atlantic Council, who said on May 10 that the next U.S. president should prioritize engagement with Russian President Vladimir Putin.Breedlove said NATO does not have a "gray area strategy" for nations that lie between Russia and NATO.Russia has responded to NATO's focus on its eastern flank with a pledge to deploy three divisions – encompassing 30,000 troops – to its western and southern flanks by the end of this year. Putin's priority is to divide the EU and NATO, Breedlove said.
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