Ukraine's Acting Ambassador to NATO calls on media not to promote Russian propaganda

14:30, 22 January 2016
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Acting Head of Mission of Ukraine to NATO Yehor Bozhok has called on the media not to spin “sensationalist” materials launched by the Russian propaganda on the alleged restoration of NATO's political dialogue with Russia, which has in fact not been stopped, an UNIAN correspondent reported from Brussels.

The diplomat commented on the widespread media information about the alleged recovery of political dialogue between Moscow and the alliance within the framework of NATO-Russia Council (NRC), which may be held late February - early March.

"I am asking you, the professional Ukrainian journalists, not to assist spreading Russian propaganda. There is no news in the fact that the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at the level of ambassadors will be held late February - early March. There is no sensation here, no change in the position of the Alliance toward Ukraine and Russia's illegal actions against our state. I believe that the media have become hostages of information, distorted deliberately or not, that NATO is allegedly restoring political dialogue with Russia. No one has halted the political dialogue, the communication channel in the form of the NATO-Russia Council at the level of the ambassadors has existed before," he said.

Bozhok recalled that after the illegal occupation of Crimea by Russia, the Alliance decided to suspend all practical cooperation and leave only one channel of political communication with Russia in order to "maintain political pressure on the Kremlin."

"And this channel is the NATO-Russia Council at the ambassadorial level. It has never been closed. It's just that the meetings have not been held for a long time," he said.

According to Bozhok, the Alliance now needs to “talk seriously with Russia about what it continues to do in Ukraine, despite all the promises given by the Russian political leadership at all international levels."

"As far as I know, the position of the allies is that the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council will be held only under the terms of the Alliance and only with the agenda which will be offered to Russia. And what is important for Ukraine is that Ukraine will be number one on the agenda, and the position of the Alliance on Russia's actions in Ukraine will remain unified and well-known," Bozhok said.

The diplomat added that it was not known whether the Russian side would agree to hold such a meeting.

"The meeting, if it takes place, will be useful for the Russian side to be reassured that NATO, the EU and the whole civilized Western world don't give up on Ukraine and are not ready to exchange it for any other things, perhaps very important for them. I am also confident that the initiative to hold such a meeting totally refutes those statements and insinuations of the Russian side that NATO seeks confrontation with Russia," Bozhok said.

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