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NATO, EU pledge closer cooperation as Russian official says fight is now against West

Press Conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. (NATO/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Officials from the European Union and NATO have agreed to “strengthen” their cooperation on security and in support of Ukraine as it battles to repel Russia’s invasion.

The Joint Declaration on NATO-EU Cooperation, signed in Brussels on January 10, aims to improve collaboration and to protect critical infrastructure, as well as addressing the security implications posed by climate change, the space race, and foreign interference and disinformation campaigns, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said.

“We must continue to strengthen the partnership between NATO and the European Union and we must further strengthen our support to Ukraine,” he told a news conference.

“[Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin wanted to take Ukraine in a few days and to divide us. On both counts, he has clearly failed,” he added.

Since Moscow launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine last February, the Western security alliance and the EU have poured billions of dollars into Ukraine to support Kyiv’s efforts to defend the country.

The invasion has triggered broader security concerns across Europe, pushing Finland and Sweden to rush to join NATO. Meanwhile, millions of Ukrainians have poured into the bloc as they flee the fighting, posing a further challenge to Europe.

“We are determined to take the partnership between NATO and the EU to the next level,” Stoltenberg said.

Earlier on January 10, one of Putin’s closest allies, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, said the battle was not between Kyiv and Moscow, but NATO and Moscow with the West trying to tear Russia apart and “erase” it from the political map of the world.

Patruschev made the comments in an interview with the Argumenti i Fakti weekly newspaper in Moscow.