Russia on Tuesday said NATO’s decision to grant Ukraine enhanced partner status in the alliance does not “contribute to the strengthening of security and stability in Europe.”
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow had taken notice of NATO’s move to make Ukraine an “Enhanced Opportunities Partner”.
“We are always very attentive to the approach of NATO’s military infrastructure to our borders, and we are forced to take appropriate necessary measures to ensure our own security in this regard,” he said.
“We always watch with great attention the processes when NATO, let’s say, absorbs more and more countries in various formats,” he added.
Enhanced Opportunities Partner status gives Ukraine wider access to NATO programs on improving military compatibility, exercises, and expands opportunities for information exchange, NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said in a statement.
However, the status does not signify any decision on the issue of Ukraine’s NATO membership, she clarified.
The decision was welcomed by Kiev, with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba thanking the alliance and stressing that both Ukraine and NATO will benefit from cooperation and “will make each other stronger.”
Ukraine became the sixth country to be granted the special partner status, following Georgia, Jordan, Australia, Finland, and Sweden.
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