NATO SUSPENDS COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA OVER CRIMEA ANNEXATION
NATO foreign ministers have ordered the suspension of all practical civilian and military cooperation with Russia, in response to its recent takeover of the Crimean peninsula. During a meeting in Brussels, Belgium, ministers condemned Russia’s illegal military intervention in Ukraine, and urged the country to engage in dialogue towards finding a political and diplomatic solution that respects both international law and Ukraine’s internationally recognised borders. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia, through its actions, had chosen to undermine the very foundations upon which our cooperation is built. The ministers said in a joint statement that the political dialogue in the NATO-Russia Council will continue, as necessary, at the ambassadorial level and above, to facilitate the exchange of views on the crisis. The ministers said that they would review NATOs relations with Russia at their next meeting in June. In addition, in a separate meeting with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Andrii Deshchytsia, the ministers agreed to intensify cooperation to support Ukraine’s defence reforms.