Moscow: Moscow said on Wednesday Kiev's decision to give up its neutral status and seek closer ties with NATO was a result of pressure from the Atlantic bloc, which wanted to turn Ukraine into a "front line of confrontation".
Ukraine's parliament this week renounced Ukraine's "non-aligned" status with the aim of eventually joining NATO, whose ties with Russia have plummeted to Cold War-era lows over the crisis in Ukraine.
"NATO countries pushed Kiev to this counterproductive decision, trying to turn Ukraine into a front line of confrontation with Russia," Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov told the Russian news agency Interfax.
"The decision of Ukraine's parliament to give up its non-aligned status will only complicate an already difficult situation," he said.
The move has angered Moscow at a time when Russia, Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels are trying to find a political solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
NATO and the pro-Western government in Kiev say they have evidence that Russia has orchestrated and armed a pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine that followed the overthrow of a Ukrainian president sympathetic to Moscow. The Kremlin denies that it is behind the revolt.
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Updated Date: Dec 24, 2014 16:10:47 IST