NATO warns Ukraine ties will suffer if army intervenes in crisis

BRUSSELS Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:32pm EST

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BRUSSELS Feb 19 (Reuters) - Ukraine's relations with NATO will suffer if the military intervenes against protesters, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Wednesday.

"I strongly urge the Ukrainian government to refrain from further violence. If the military intervenes against the opposition, Ukraine's ties with NATO will be seriously damaged," Rasmussen said in a statement after violent clashes between police and protesters in Kiev.

While Ukraine is not presently seeking membership of the Western military alliance, it does cooperate with NATO in a number of areas. Twenty-eight of its soldiers participate in the NATO-led force in Afghanistan.

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