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Dutch FM says Russia neither friend nor foe at present

June 25, 2014, 21:44 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
He claimed he was ready to take the necessary steps for restoring relations of partnership between NATO and Russia
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Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans

© EPA/SHAWN THEW

BRUSSELS, June 25. /ITAR-TASS/. At the current stage, Russia is neither an enemy nor a partner, since other parties will usually rely on the partner’s words and actions, Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said Wednesday.

NATO awaits not only verbal support from Moscow for the peace plan forwarded by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko but concrete steps to assist its positive results, too, Timmermans said, adding other otherwise NATO will change its attitude to Russia.

He claimed he was ready to take the necessary steps for restoring relations of partnership between NATO and Russia, since this would meet the interests of entire European continent but for this to happen it was important to see positive steps from Moscow towards de-escalation of the situation in Eastern Ukraine.

This is the only way to move forward to normalizing the relations, Timmermans said.

NATO is awaiting a display of readiness for dialogue with the Ukrainian government, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told ITAR-TASS.

“We’d like to see signals of readiness for dialogue,” he said.

One of these “signals” might be condemnation on the part of Moscow of what Linkevicius described as “terrorist sorties” against Ukrainian army servicemen. “As a minimum, this would be a signal of readiness to dialogue,” he claimed.

Along with it, Linkevicius said NATO had no plans — for the time being — to impose additional restrictive measures on Russia, but neither did he see any rationality in holding a session of the Russia-NATO Council at the level of foreign ministers yet.

At a conference in April in Brussels, NATO Foreign Ministers used the Ukrainian crisis as a ploy for suspending a comprehensive set of defense and civilian cooperation functions except for the sessions of the Russia-NATO Council at the level of ambassadors.

The Foreign Ministers left the April decisions unchanged at Wednesday’s conference.

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