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MENAFN - Qatar News Agency - 06/03/2014
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(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) NATO is stepping up its cooperation with Ukraine while reviewing cooperation with Russia, the NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

Speaking after talks with Russian Ambassador to the NATO, Rasmussen announced the review of "an entire range" of military cooperation and the suspension of a ground-breaking joint mission involving the destruction of Syrian chemical weapon

At the same time NATO will "intensify our partnership with Ukraine", strengthening support of democratic reforms and helping boost Ukraine's army, including with more joint training and exercise

Rasmussen said the situation in Ukraine "presents serious implications for the security and stability" of the region and that Russia "continues to violate" Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrit

As a result, the 28-nation alliance will suspend its first joint mission with Russia, providing a maritie escort for the US ship Cape Ray, which will neutralise Syria's chemical weapon

The destruction of the weapons will go ahead nonetheless, he stresse

NATO also decided to suspend staff-level civilian and military meetings with Russia "for now

"We have put the entire range of NATO-Russia cooperation under revie

NATO foreign ministers will take decisions on this in early Apri

But NATO is keeping the door open for political dialogue and is therefore ready to maintain meetings of ambassadors in the NATO-Russia Council, such as one that took place Wednesday, Rasmussen note

"I think this sends a very clear message to Russia and by balancing our steps in such a way that we on the one hand suspend daily practical cooperation but on the other hand keep a channel open for political dialogue, we hope that we can contribute to finding a political and diplomatic solution," he sai


Qatar News Agency

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