NATO has announced that it is suspending all military and civilian cooperation with Russia over the Ukrainian crisis, the bloc said in a joint statement.
“We have decided to suspend all practical civilian and military cooperation between NATO and Russia. Our political dialogue in the NATO-Russia Council can continue, as necessary, at the Ambassadorial level and above, to allow us to exchange views, first and foremost on this crisis,” the statement reads. The alliance plans to review its relations with Russia at a meeting in June.
The decision could affect cooperation on Afghanistan in areas such as training counter-narcotics personnel, maintenance of Afghan air force helicopters and a transit route out of the war-torn country.
NATO foreign ministers also urged Moscow in “to take immediate steps … to return to compliance with international law.”
The bloc said that it was stepping up its cooperation with Ukraine, promoting defense reforms and increasing the activity of a liaison office in Kiev.
NATO and Ukraine issued a joint statement after a meeting of their ministers in Brussels. They said that they would “implement immediate and longer term measures to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to provide for its own security.”
Source: RT News
Ukraine Agrees to Host NATO War Games
Ukraine’s parliament on Tuesday approved a series of joint military exercises with NATO countries that would put US troops in direct proximity to Russian forces in the annexed Crimea peninsula.
“This is a good opportunity to develop our armed forces,” acting defense minister Mykhailo Koval told Verkhovna Rada lawmakers ahead of the 235-0 vote.
The decision came as NATO foreign ministers gathered in Brussels for a two-day meeting dominated by concern over the recent buildup of Russian forces near Crimea that US officials estimate had at one point reached about 40,000 troops.