Russia says NATO offered no ‘constructive agenda’ for Ukraine

Russia says NATO offered no ‘constructive agenda’ for Ukraine

PanARMENIAN.Net - Russia's Foreign Ministry accused NATO on Thursday, April 10, of using the crisis in Ukraine to boost its appeal to members and justify its existence by rallying them against an imaginary threat, Reuters reports.

Russia and the West are locked in a Cold War-style stand-off over Ukraine and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Moscow to pull back troops from the Ukrainian border or face consequences if they intervene.

The ministry said Rasmussen's remarks were confrontational and that in recent months he had not offered "any constructive agenda" for Ukraine, adding that it was adding to instability in the region.

"The constant accusations against us by the secretary general convince us that the alliance is trying to use the crisis in Ukraine to rally its ranks in the face of an imaginary external threat to NATO members and to strengthen demand for the alliance ... in the 21st century," it said.

NATO has suspended all practical military and civilian cooperation with Russia, although it said political dialogue could continue at ambassador level or higher, since Russia incorporated Ukraine's Crimea region last month.

The Western military alliance has also limited access for Russian diplomat's to its headquarters and is reviewing a 1997 co-operation agreement with Russia and subsequent Rome declaration of 2002 that prevented it from setting up bases in eastern and central Europe.

Russia has responded by accusing NATO of having a Cold War mentality and has expressed concern over the possibility of deploying the alliance's troops in eastern Europe permanently.

 Top stories
"We are concerned about the state of the European project," the foreign ministers of the Six said in a statement after talks.
The Siege Watch report says 1.09 million people are living in 46 besieged communities in Syria, far more than the 18 listed by the UN.
Rebel-held areas in and around Aleppo are still home to 350,000 people, and aid workers have said they could soon fall to the government.
The launch would be in defiance of repeated warnings by governments who suspect it is a banned test of ballistic missile technology.
Partner news