Moscow, Sep 5 IANS | 3 months ago

NATO has been trying to use the Ukraine conflict to divert public attention from worsening economic situation in Europe, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Thursday.

"I am convinced that NATO has been very glad that the current events in Ukraine lead to new tension in relations with Russia," Xinhua quoted Rogozin as saying in his Twitter account.

Washington uses the tension to persuade its European allies to buy more American-made weapons, further strengthen NATO existence, and weaken the European Union by cutting its economic ties with Russia, Rogozin said.

Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Washington of supporting the "hawks" in Kiev.

Leaders of NATO member countries have gathered for a two-day summit in Wales, Britain. The Ukraine crisis, NATO's tasks in Afghanistan, and the rise of extremism and sectarian strife in the Middle East and North Africa topped the agenda of the 28-member military body.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Monday that NATO will agree on an action plan to make it more agile than ever to respond to Russia's "aggressive behaviour".

Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a seven-point plan Wednesday to stop military clashes in southeast Ukraine and discussed the "concrete steps to promote a ceasefire between the militia and the government forces" with the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

(Posted on 05-09-2014)

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