April 1 - NATO suspends all practical cooperation with Russia in protest of Russia's annexation of Crimea. Mana Rabiee reports.
It was all smiles before a meeting among NATO member states in Brussels on Tuesday. But behind the handshakes and the helloes, Foreign Ministers from 28 member nations were bracing to decide Russia's fate in the North Atlantic security alliance. At issue, Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NATO SECRETARY GENERAL ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN, SAYING: "Through its actions, Russia has undermined the principles on which our partnership is built, and has breached its own international commitments. So, we cannot go on doing business as usual." NATO's business with Russia is ended for now. The alliance voted to suspend all practical cooperation with Russia. A protest of its actions in Crimea. Diplomatic communication with Moscow remains open, to find a way out of the crisis. (SOUNDBITE) (French) NATO SECRETARY GENERAL ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN, SAYING: "We are going to consider what else we can do to support the ongoing international efforts to respond to this crisis because the only voice to be followed should be the political and diplomatic one." But meanwhile, NATO is also ordering military planners to strengthen its defenses. Reassurance for eastern European countries, nervous about Russia's intentions near their own borders.