NATO to bolster defences in eastern Europe

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NATO to bolster defences in eastern Europe

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NATO has pledged to strengthen its eastern defence capabilities in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO’s Secretary General, said Russia’s interventions should serve as a ‘wake-up call’ to the alliance.

“We agreed that we will continue to reinforce NATO’s collective defence with more air and sea patrols and more exercises and training,” Rasmussen told a news conference at the end of the first day of a two-day meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels.

Ukraine’s acting Defence Minister Mykhailo Koval spoke to euronews on the sidelines of the Brussels gathering. When asked whether it was in Ukraine’s interests to have a stronger NATO near its border, Koval replied: “in the current situation – yes.”

Russia has said that it would pull out of its founding agreement with NATO if there were any major deployments by the alliance in central or eastern Europe.

Euronews’ Andrei Beketov reported from Brussels: “As NATO ministers look at how to boost the quality of defence in Europe without violating agreements with Russia, they say Russia itself has violated these agreements by intervening in Ukraine. A decision on increasing the quantity of forces in the region could be taken at the NATO summit in September in Wales.”