NATO Urges Russia to Stop Supporting Separatists in Eastern Ukraine
Following the Mariupol attack on Saturday, an extraordinary ambassadorial meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission took place in Brussels on Monday.
''In recent weeks, Russia has supplied hundreds of pieces of advanced equipment, including rocket systems, heavy artillery, tanks, armored vehicles and electronic warfare systems,'' NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said. ''We call on Russia to stop its support for the separatists immediately, to stop destabilizing Ukraine and to respect its international commitments.”
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also made statements on the issue earlier on Monday.
Lavrov, as cited by the TASS news agency, said that Kiev is attempting to resolve the issue through the use of force in order to suppress the south-east of Ukraine.
"In essence, this is already not an army, but a foreign legion, in this case NATO's foreign legion that certainly does not pursue the goal of defending Ukraine's national interests," Putin declared, as cited by Itar-Tass.
He pointed out that official Kiev authorities had unfortunately abandoned a path of peaceful settlement and were unwilling to deal with the ongoing crisis through political means.
“Law enforcement agencies were used first, then the security service, then the army,” Russia’s head of state noted.
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