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Ukraine Officially Declares Russia The Enemy, Vows To Join NATO

Ukraine's National Security Council has approved a new military doctrine that declares Russia to be a military opponent and calls for the country to pursue NATO membership.

There was no immediate official reaction from Russia, which denies claims that it has sent troops and equipment to separatist rebels in Ukraine's east, and which opposes Ukraine joining NATO.

The move came amid strong political tensions over President Petro Poroshenko's efforts to get approval of a constitutional change that would devolve some powers to the regions, including the eastern regions held by the rebels.

Opponents say the change would effectively be capitulation to Russia.

It was unclear if the military doctrine's stance against Russia could dilute opposition to the decentralization effort.

The doctrine now goes to Poroshenko for his signature.

At the Security Council meeting, Poroshenko said the doctrine "not only officially establishes the Russian Federation as Ukraine's military opponent, but states the task of relocating military units and creating the necessary military infrastructure in the eastern and southern regions."

He said Ukraine's army must strive to achieve NATO standards to attain membership by 2020.

Based on reporting by AP and Interfax

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