Moscow to React to Ukraine's Possible NATO Entry, Sees It as Dangerous Step, Deputy FM Says
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Ukraine's possible NATO entry would be an extremely dangerous step, which would force Moscow to react, the alliance was warned about the possible consequences, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said on Thursday.
Commenting on prospects for Ukraine's NATO membership, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin confirmed Washington's support for Kiev's aspirations and emphasized that third countries have no right to veto the accession.
Rudenko noted that NATO member states representatives made similar comments many times, and similar approach is reflected in statutory documents.
"But we still focus not on the official position, but on real steps. We believe that this would be an extremely dangerous step that would force Russia to react in a relevant manner," Rudenko said.
"Since these are negotiations between NATO and Ukraine, it is up to them to decide when and what is needed, but we warned them that any step would have consequences. NATO is aware of our position on Ukraine," the diplomat added.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that the country would suspend the activities of the NATO military liaison mission in Moscow and its information bureau in response to the alliance expelling Russian diplomats. In addition, the Russian permanent mission to NATO is set to halt its operations from 1 November or a little later. For contacts with Russia, the alliance should now contact the Russian ambassador to Belgium.
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