NATO suspends civilian and military cooperation with Russia

April 1, 2014 in News by The Manimal

Source: RT

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.

A series of meetings in Brussels was called on Tuesday in  response to what the bloc sees as Russia’s aggression in Ukraine  and its annexation of Crimea. The bloc called on Moscow to reduce  its troop number in Crimea to pre-crisis levels, withdraw them to  their bases and taper military activities along its border with  Ukraine.

Ministers ordered military planners to “develop as a matter  of urgency a series of additional measures to reinforce NATO’s  collective defenses“, a NATO official told Reuters. This  might include sending troops and equipment to NATO allies in  Eastern Europe, holding more exercises, taking steps to ensure  NATO’s rapid reaction force could deploy more quickly, and a  review of NATO’s military plans.

Military planners will come back with detailed proposals within  weeks, the alliance official said.