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NATO Official Says Russia More 'Adversary' Than Partner

NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow says the alliance must now start considering Russia as an adversary.

Vershbow said on May 1 in Washington that despite trying for some 20 years to build a partnership with Russia, Moscow has "declared NATO as an adversary."

Because of that, he says NATO must now also "begin to view Russia now longer as a partner but as more of an adversary."

Vershbow, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia and to NATO, Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and involvement in the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine have changed the NATO-Russia relationship.

He said Russia is clearly "trying to re-impose hegemony and limit [the]...sovereignty [of Russia's neighbors] under the guise of a defense of the Russian world."

NATO suspended most of its civilian and military cooperation with Russia in April after the annexation of Crimea.
Based on reporting by AP, ITAR-TASS