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Ukraine’s NATO Choice Rhetoric Directly Harms European Security: Diplomat

© Sputnik / Maksim Blinov / Go to the photo bankBatkivshchyna Party presents 3 million signatures in support of referendum on Ukraine's accession to NATO
Batkivshchyna Party presents 3 million signatures in support of referendum on Ukraine's accession to NATO - Sputnik International
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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov stated that even the talk of Ukraine's NATO choice harms pan-European security and is intended to undermine its principal foundation.

Russian Foreign Ministry - Sputnik International
Ukraine's Decision to Cancel Non-Aligned Status Big Mistake: Moscow
MOSCOW, December 23 (Sputnik) – Ukraine's rhetoric regarding its decision to join NATO directly harms pan-European security and undermines its basic principles, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov told RIA Novosti Tuesday.

"I'm convinced that even the talk of Ukraine's NATO choice directly harms pan-European security and is intended to undermine its principal foundations," he said.

On Tuesday, the Ukrainian parliament (the Verkhovna Rada) passed a bill to drop the country's non-aligned status, confirming Kiev's intention to join NATO.

“We should speak not of expanding blocs inherited from the Cold War, but of creating a system in Europe under which every state would feel comfortable, safe and could to concentrate on positive agenda,” the diplomat said.

Ukraine's non-aligned status was established by a 2010 law signed by then-president Viktor Yanukovych and stipulating that Ukraine would not seek membership of military-political alliances.

However, the new Kiev authorities have renewed the drive toward NATO membership since the outbreak of an armed conflict in the country's southeast, a conflict they have blamed on a military intervention by Russia.

In August, the Ukrainian government said the non-aligned status did not guarantee the country’s security and reaffirmed its plans to join the 28-member military bloc.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has repeatedly warned Kiev that a neutral status was in the best interests of the Ukrainian people, their neighbors and Europe.

Ukraine's NATO bid has prompted a mixed reaction from the alliance, with majority of NATO officials saying the country was not ready to join the bloc, and urging Kiev to implement a wide range of reforms before pursuing NATO membership.

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