Ukraine took a historic step toward NATO on Tuesday in a parliamentary vote that stoked Russia’s anger ahead of talks on ending the ex-Soviet state’s separatist war.

Lawmakers in the government-controlled chamber overwhelmingly adopted a bill dropping Ukraine’s non-aligned status — a classification given to states such as Switzerland that refuse to join military alliances and thus play no part in wars.

President Petro Poroshenko had vowed to put Ukraine under Western military protection after winning an election called in the wake of the February ouster in Kiev of a Moscow-backed president.

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