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The Secretary General also addressed recent claims by Moscow that Ukraine is preparing to use a radiological “dirty bomb” on its own territory, emphasizing that “NATO Allies reject this transparently false allegation.” He said that Russia “must not use false pretexts for further escalation.” He further condemned Iran’s military support to the Russian war effort, saying “no country should be helping the aggressor in an illegal war,” and welcomed the sanctions that Allies and the European Union are implementing on Tehran.
During his visit, Mr. Stoltenberg addressed the ship’s crew and met sailors and pilots, thanking them all for their service and dedication. He also met with senior military leaders including Admiral Stuart Munsch, commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples and commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa; Vice-Admiral Thomas Ishee, commander of Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO and commander U.S. Sixth Fleet; Rear Adm. James Morley, deputy commander of Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO; Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, commander of Carrier Strike Group Ten and the George H. W. Bush Carrier Strike Group; and Capt. David-Tavis Pollard, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier.