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Shades of the Cold War at NATO HQ

The Ukraine crisis is turning the clock back 30 years for NATO and Russia with the return to propaganda methods and suspicions last seen during the Cold War. "NATO and Moscow have suddenly remembered they used to be the world's best worst enemies," said a Brussels-based officer at NATO's headquarters, speaking on condition of anonymity. "And our older colleagues are using the same reflexes they abandoned years ago," he added.

NATO leader concerned by pro-Russian gunmen, escalating tension in east Ukraine

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO's leader voiced concern on Sunday over the appearance of pro-Russian gunmen in eastern Ukraine and warned that any further Russian military interference in the country would deepen Moscow's international isolation. Ukraine's government sent security forces to the eastern city of Slaviansk on Sunday where pro-Russian militants have seized control. One Ukrainian state security officer was killed and five others wounded during the operation, the interior minister said.

NATO chief sees Russian hand in east Ukraine escalation

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Sunday he was "extremely concerned" about the escalation of tensions in east Ukraine, saying actions by uniformed, pro-Russian gunmen with military weapons pointed to an organised campaign to destabilise the region. Drawing parallels with Crimea, the Ukrainian region Russia annexed last month after deploying forces there, he warned Moscow against further military interference. "We see a concerted campaign of violence by pro-Russian separatists, aiming to destabilise Ukraine as a sovereign state," Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement.

Turkey rejects Russian claims over US ships in Black Sea

Turkey on Saturday dismissed as "out of the question" claims from Russia that it had allowed US warships to stay longer in the Black Sea than permitted under international law. Russia has complained that US warships have remained in the Black Sea longer than the 21 days allowed by an international treaty, amid ongoing tensions between Moscow and the West. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week that US vessels had "a couple of times" stayed longer than 21 days, contravening the 1936 Montreux Convention.

Russia 'more and more' isolated over Ukraine says NATO

Russia is "more and more" isolated over its actions in Ukraine, NATO said on Thursday, while calling for beefed up alliance deployments to defend its eastern members. "Nobody wants to isolate Russia but Russia is isolating itself internationally more and more every day," the alliance's chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Friday, as tensions remain high over the annexation of Crimea. The warning shot came a day after NATO released satellite pictures showing up to 40,000 Russian troops massed along the Ukraine border.

West struggles as Russia moves to dominate old USSR

By Peter Apps LONDON (Reuters) - NATO says tens of thousands of Russian troops are massed on the border with Ukraine for a potential invasion, yet Western states still lack a strategy to stop Moscow from intervening in its former Soviet neighbors.

China's booming military spending belies caution

With the world's biggest military, China far outnumbers rival Japan in manpower, ships, aircraft and defence spending, but analysts say underlying weaknesses leave it still wary of a fight. The two Asian powers are embroiled in simmering territorial and historical rows, with the tensions highlighted this week in consecutive visits to each by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

NATO release photos of Russian troops near Ukraine border

NATO released Thursday a score of satellite pictures of up to 40,000 Russian troops massed along the Ukraine border that it said are ready for action and represent a "real threat" to Kiev. The Western military alliance estimates that "between 35,000 and 40,000" Russians, armed with tanks and military vehicles, have been deployed in over 100, mainly temporary, bases to the east of Ukraine.

Romania presses for NATO redeployment over Ukraine crisis

NATO should redeploy its forces in eastern Europe and take a firm stand to prevent a contagion of the Ukraine crisis, Romania's foreign minister urged in an interview Thursday with AFP. "Romania has concrete expectations of a redeployment and an eastward repositioning of NATO's naval, air and ground forces," Titus Corlatean said. "The Black Sea region must be a top priority for NATO and the EU," he stressed.

Romania presses for NATO redeployment over Ukraine crisis

NATO should redeploy its forces in eastern Europe and take a firm stand to prevent a contagion of the Ukraine crisis, Romania's foreign minister urged in an interview Thursday with AFP. "Romania has concrete expectations of a redeployment and an eastward repositioning of NATO's naval, air and ground forces," Titus Corlatean said. "The Black Sea region must be a top priority for NATO and the EU," he stressed.
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