Kremlin ‘very negative’ about Ukraine's plans to join NATO
Russia has a “very negative” attitude to the plans of the new Ukrainian authorities to move towards joining NATO, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.
“Our attitude is very negative – we’re not hiding it,” Lavrov said, according to Russian state news agency TASS.
Lavrov was speaking after holding talks with visiting Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland in the Russian capital Moscow on Friday.
“I think everybody understands the harmfulness of the further expansion of NATO, which only moves the dividing lines on the [European] continent,” Lavrov said.
“I didn’t discuss with the secretary general today either the Ukrainian crisis as such, or the attempts by NATO to outbid [Russia] in France for the Mistral [helicopter carriers France is building for Russia.]
“We discussed the issues that are on the agenda Council of Europe, including ones that are associated with the Ukrainian crisis.”
Earlier, Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, registered a draft law on Ukraine giving up its non-aligned status and joining NATO. The bill proposes to exclude from the law "On the basis of domestic and foreign policy" the clause stating that Ukraine is a "non-aligned" country, and add to the article on the basis of the country’s foreign policy a point on "Ukraine's membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization."