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MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Kremlin regards French President Francois Hollande’s statement on Ukraine-NATO relations as pragmatic. "Hollande’s statement that Ukraine is not welcome in NATO is a pragmatic view on the state of affairs," Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Thursday.
Hollande told a news conference in Paris on Thursday that he believes that Ukraine’s accession to NATO is unwelcome. The president said that France still would not want to see Ukraine within NATO. According to Hollande, this should be clearly stated and France should say the truth about things it cannot accept.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in November also expressed concern about Kiev’s latest statements on seeking to join the North Atlantic Alliance.
Russian officials have repeatedly criticized Ukraine's intention to join NATO. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov wrote in an article published in Serbia’s Horizons magazine in late January that Ukraine needs to preserve its non-aligned status to prevent the country’s further split.
"We have repeatedly warned at various venues that the attempts to make Kiev fix a one-way foreign policy vector — to the west or to the east — are fraught with the most serious consequences for the still fragile Ukrainian statehood," Lavrov said. "Our advice was not heeded, and as a result of a coup d'etat supported by the West and armed seizure of power Ukraine has found itself on the verge of a split."