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Nato chief fears Vladimir Putin's ambition 'goes beyond Ukraine'

Published on Aug 14, 2014 5:25 AM
Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels August 11, 2014. In Iceland on Wednesday, he said Russia hoped to establish a sphere of Russian influence in surrounding countries, adding: "that's why I am concerned that the Russian ambitions go beyond Ukraine." -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

REYKJAVIK (AFP) - Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed concern on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin's ambition went "beyond Ukraine," where he is accused of stoking a bloody rebellion by pro-Kremlin separatists.

"We have seen the illegal annexation of Crimea, we have seen a strong Russian hand in the destabilisation of eastern Ukraine," Rasmussen told journalists on a visit to Iceland.

"But actually we also see Russia behind the frozen and protracted conflicts in Transnistria and eastern Moldova, in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and Georgia."

Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria are separatist regions whose independence is recognised by Russia.

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