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NATO suspends cooperation with Russia, sees no troop pullback

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April 02, 2014 02:17


NATO said today it has suspended all cooperation with Russia over the Crimea crisis and questioned Moscow's claim to have withdrawn troops from near the Ukrainian border, saying it could not confirm any pullback.

The Western alliance's latest statements came as Moscow heaped even more pressure on Ukraine's teetering economy with a painful gas-price hike, undermining what had been tentative signs of a calming in the worst East-West standoff since the Cold War. 

Ukraine's parliament met one of Moscow's key demands by voting unanimously to disarm all self-defence groups that sprang up across the country during its political crisis, which first erupted in late November over the then-government's decision to ditch a landmark EU alliance.

But tensions remained high more than two weeks after Moscow formally annexed Crimea, and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance was "suspending all practical cooperation with Russia, military and civilian". 

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