Russia: It is Extremely Dangerous to Bring the ‘NATO Factor’ to the Crisis in Ukraine

Russian Presiden Vladimir Putin, March 8, 2014Question: How has Moscow perceived NATO’s decision to suspend cooperation with Russia because of the situation in Ukraine, which was announced on the 5 March?

Answer: The decision of the NATO council to suspend meetings within the framework of practical cooperation with Russia is evidence of a pretentious and lopsided approach to the analysis of causes and consequences of the events in Ukraine.

The intent to restrict the work in agreed areas and interaction projects, in responding to the challenges and threats, which are common for NRC member states – terrorism, piracy, crises, extremism, natural and man-made disasters, as well as on Afghanistan and Syrian chemical weapons – is contrary to common sense. NRC has no projects and cooperation programmes, which would be of interest to Russia or member states of the organisation only.

To develop our “all-weather” political dialogue in the NRC arena, we have provided the necessary explanations many times, including about the security of the sites of the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea.

However, the reflexes of the past, which did not allow objective understandingof what is happening, have seemingly prevailed. In our opinion, it is extremely dangerous to bring the “NATO factor” to the complicated and fragile situation in Ukraine, which creates an additional element of tension, disrupting the prospects of normalisation of the situation.

Reply by the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Alexander Lukashevich, to the question by the mass media regarding the decision of NATO to suspend cooperation with Russia because of the situation in Ukraine.

Image: Russian Presiden Vladimir Putin, March 8, 2014 (photo: Office of the President of Russia)