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NATO suspends Russia co-operation

NATO foreign ministers have agreed to suspend all practical civilian and military co-operation with Russia, the BBC reports.

In a strongly worded statement, they condemned Russia’s “illegal annexation” of Ukraine’s Crimea region and praised the Ukrainian government’s “restraint”.

Ministers from the 28-member bloc gathered in Brussels for their first meeting since the referendum in Crimea.

They agreed to suspend NATO co-operation with Russia in a number of bodies but added that dialogue in the NATO-Russia Council could continue, as necessary, at ambassadorial level and above “to allow us to exchange views, first and foremost on this crisis. We will review Nato’s relations with Russia at our next meeting in June”.

They are also looking at options including situating permanent military bases in the Baltic states to reassure members in Eastern Europe.

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