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MOSCOW, April 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian withdraws its ambassador to NATO, Colonel General Valery Yevnevich, for consultations after NATO member countries said they suspend cooperation with Russia, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov told journalists on Thursday.
“The policy of deliberate whipping up tensions is not our choice, nonetheless, we see no possibility to continue military cooperation with NATO in a routine regime,” he said. “We took a decision to recall Russia’s chief military representative at NATO, Colonel General Valery Yevnevich, for consultations in Moscow.
“We took notice of the statements of NATO member countries on the suspension of cooperation with Russia over the developments in Ukraine that came after a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels on April 1-2,” Antonov noted. “The secretary general of the alliance showed up with a number of confrontational statements once again. Such actions on the background of unprovoked build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe in the exact proximity to the Russian borders in no way promote the de-escalation of tensions in the region,” which has been demanded from Russia by the American and European partners.
The Russian deputy defense minister stressed that the decision to suspend cooperation with Russia nullified the results of joint efforts over the past several years. “We would like to hope that Brussels is well aware of the consequences of this step to security in the Euro-Atlantic region,” he said, adding that further military cooperation with the alliance would be built with due account of “practical steps made by the partners to ‘contain’ Russia.
Earlier, NATO has stopped all practical military and civilian cooperation with Russia over Ukraine’s crisis, the NATO Council at the level of foreign ministers.