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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.

NATO satellite photos show Russian military buildup near Ukraine

By Adrian Croft MONS, Belgium (Reuters) - NATO unveiled satellite photographs on Thursday it said showed Russian deployments of some 40,000 troops near the Ukrainian frontier, along with long lines of tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and aircraft ready for action. "This is a force that is very capable, at high readiness, and, as we have illustrated through the imagery, is close to routes and lines of communication," British Brigadier Gary Deakin said at a briefing at NATO military headquarters at Mons in southern Belgium.

Russia's Lavrov says NATO forces in Eastern Europe would violate agreements

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday said the deployment of NATO forces in eastern European countries close to Russia would violate of agreements between Moscow and the alliance, the Interfax news agency reported. Lavrov said even the fact that NATO was discussing deploying troops or installations on territories "closely adjacent" to Russia ran counter to the Founding Act agreed by Russia and the military alliance in 1997, Interfax reported. (Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska and Steve Gutterman)

Russia says NATO is using Ukraine crisis to boost appeal

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Foreign Ministry accused NATO on Thursday of using the crisis in Ukraine to boost its appeal to members and justify its existence by rallying them against an imaginary threat. Russia and the West are locked in a Cold War-style stand-off over Ukraine and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Moscow to pull back troops from the Ukrainian border or face consequences if they intervene.

NATO 'totally' denies deploying troops near Russia border

NATO denied Russian claims Wednesday that it was planning to deploy massive numbers of troops near the country's border. "I totally dismiss claim by dep defense minister Antonov that NATO plans to deploy large military contingents close to Russia's borders," said NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexandre Vershbow on twitter. His tweet was in response to comments by Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov at a news conference earlier in Moscow.

US expectations low for four-way Ukraine meet

The United States said Tuesday it was going into an upcoming meeting with Russia, Europe and Ukraine on the crisis in the former Soviet republic with low expectations. "I have to say that we don't have high expectations for these talks but we do believe it is very important to keep that diplomatic door open and will see what they bring," said Victoria Nuland, assistant secretary of state for European affairs. US and EU diplomats have agreed with Russia to hold four-way negotiations involving Ukraine next week to de-escalate the worst European security crisis in decades.

NATO to triple Baltic air patrol from next month

By Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO will triple its usual number of fighter jets patrolling over the Baltics next month to beef up its eastern European defenses due to tension with Russia over Ukraine, a NATO military official said on Tuesday. Four NATO fighters are usually based in the Baltics but the United States, which currently has responsibility for patrolling the skies there, increased that to 10 F-15s to reassure those states following Russia's occupation of Ukraine's Crimea region.

Ukraine counts on NATO allies for help with non-lethal equipment

By Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Ukraine, locked in confrontation with Russia, is counting on the United States and other NATO members to supply equipment ranging from uniforms to aircraft fuel but is not asking for weapons, its ambassador to NATO said on Tuesday. NATO officials say Russia has amassed around 40,000 troops near Ukraine's border and unrest in eastern Ukraine has led to fears that Russian forces could intervene there as they did in Crimea.

Kerry says willing to take blame for U.S. foreign policy failures

By Arshad Mohammed and Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry bristled at fierce criticism from U.S. senators on Tuesday, saying he would accept blame for foreign policy failures but was at least trying to make progress on Middle East peace and the crises in Syria and Ukraine.
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