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NATO Secretary General to make first visit to Ukraine

Stoltenberg is expected to inaugurate NATO-Ukrainian civil protection exercises

Baku. 7 September. REPORT.AZ/ NATO's secretary general will make his first visit to Ukraine this month, Ukraine's foreign minister said on Monday, dismissing the idea that this would provoke Moscow, which is backing the pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine, Report informs referring to UNIAN Agency.

After a meeting with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, Pavlo Klimkin said the visit, which he called symbolic as his ex-Soviet nation seeks to integrate with the West, would upgrade NATO's representation in Ukraine and broaden technical cooperation.

Klimkin rejected the idea that the visit would worsen relations with a Russian government that wants to keep Ukraine in its sphere of influence and has made clear its adamant opposition to Ukraine's ambition of joining NATO.

Against a backdrop of "Russian aggression" in eastern Ukraine, he said the visit could hardly be classed as "further provocation".

Stoltenberg is expected to inaugurate NATO-Ukrainian civil protection exercises at a time when the deadline is nearing for fulfillment of a peace agreement that has so far failed to stop low-level fighting in eastern Ukraine.

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