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Russia's intervention in Ukraine condemned

Posted on Apr 02 2014 | IBNS

Brussels, Apr 1 : The Foreign Ministers of the NATO-Ukraine Commission on Tuesday condemned Russia's intervention in Ukraine.

"We, the Foreign Ministers of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, are united in our condemnation of Russia's illegal military intervention in Ukraine, and Russia's violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We do not recognize Russia's illegal and illegitimate 'annexation' of Crimea. We will continue to work together to reach a political and diplomatic solution which respects international law and Ukraine's internationally recognized borders," the NATO said in a statement on Tuesday.

"We call on Russia to de-escalate by reducing its troops in Crimea to pre-crisis levels and withdrawing them to their bases; to reduce its military activities along the Ukrainian border; to reverse the illegal and illegitimate 'annexation' of Crimea; to refrain from any further interference and aggressive actions in Ukraine; to respect the rights of the Ukrainian population including the Crimean Tatars; and to fulfill its international obligations and to abide by international law," it said.

The ministers said the support the deployment of an OSCE monitoring mission to Ukraine.

The ministers said they commended the Armed Forces of Ukraine for their courage, discipline and restraint, in the face of provocation.

"As a tangible demonstration of Allied commitment to the Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine, we have agreed on concrete measures to enhance Ukraine's ability to provide for its own security," the NATO statement said.

NATO and Ukraine will intensify cooperation and promote defence reforms through capacity building and capability development programmes.

NATO Allies will also reinforce the NATO Liaison Office in Kyiv with additional experts.

"Allies will continue working together with the Ukrainian government, the Verkhovna Rada and civil society to strengthen civilian control over the armed forces and related security sectors," read the statement.

"Allies support the measures taken by the Ukrainian government to advance reforms and to promote an inclusive political process, based on democratic values, respect for human rights, minorities and the rule of law," it said.

The ministers welcomed Ukraine's signature of the political chapters of the Association Agreement with the European Union on Mar 21.

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