Russian Communists criticise Ukraine's decision to join NATO

On Thursday Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov severely criticised Ukraine's decision to join NATO.

"Ukraine's joining the North-Atlantic Alliance will complete the strategic encirclement of Russia," Zyuganov's statement says.

According to Zyuganov, Kiev breaks article 6 of the Russian-Ukrainian Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership, signed in May 1997. The article says that "each side should prevent the use of its territory to the detriment of the security of the other".

Ukraine's intention to join NATO is "a result of the policy of the Alliance's expansion connivance," the Communist leader said.

Zyuganov believes that consequences of Ukraine's joining NATO "will be the hardest, and not only to Russia". "Moldova will be inevitably drawn into NATO, and the Western pressure on Belarus will also increase," Zyuganov believes.