The Cold War was a period of ideological confrontation between the former Soviet Union and Western countries. It began after World War Two and ended with the collapse of the Soviet-led communist camp in the 1989.
The Nato alliance was established in 1949 to protect Western countries.The 45 years of tension were marked by espionage and proxy wars involving client states – all undertaken with the knowledge or fear of the nuclear catastrophe that actual war would bring.
Russia has recently come under strong criticism over its air strikes in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and over its role in neighbouring Ukraine, which culminated with the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
In an interview with the BBC at the same Munich conference, Mr Stoltenberg said Russia had changed borders by force and had become more assertive – and that Nato had to be able to respond to threats.
“We are not in a cold-war situation, but also not in the partnership that we established at the end of the Cold War,” Mr Stoltenberg said.
Nato, he said, did not want an escalation, but enhanced political dialogue with Russia.