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NATO approves rapid reaction force to boost Eastern defenses

Saturday, September 06, 2014 - 01:57

NATO approves a rapid reaction force for Eastern Europe, sanctions for Russia as part of the group's response to Ukraine's battle with pro-Russian separatists. Deborah Gembara reports.

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A rapid reaction force made up of about 5,000 troops will stand ready to respond to any crisis in Europe. This was one of the measures in the wake of unrest in Ukraine, that NATO countries approved on Friday. It's a move to reassure allies' concerns about Russia's ambitions in the region. Should something happen, soldiers such as these will be able to react with a full sea, air and land response within two days. British Prime Minister David Cameron also discussed plans to hit Russia in the pocket book. SOUNDBITE: BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "First, there has been a clear message sent out from this conference to Russia that what President Putin is doing is indefensible and wrong. While we meet here in Newport, a package of sanctions is being finalized in Brussels that will further increase the economic cost to Russia for its behavior. The multi-prong approach was agreed to as Ukrainian officials signed a ceasefire agreement with pro-Russian separatists. U.S. President Barack Obama echoed what many in Kiev are thinking. SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama "Obviously we are hopeful, but based on past experience also skeptical that in fact the separatists will follow through and the Russians will stop violating Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. So it has to be tested." While Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists have agreed to lay down their weapons, rebel leaders say differences remain. Leader of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, Igor Plotnitsky. SOUNDBITE: Leader of the Self-Proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, Igor Plotnitsky, saying (Russian): "So, it does not mean that our aim to break off (from Ukraine) is over. No. It (the ceasefire) is a needed step in order to stop bloodshed among the united people." So far, an estimated 2,600 people have been killed in the region since the unrest started earlier this year.

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NATO approves rapid reaction force to boost Eastern defenses

Saturday, September 06, 2014 - 01:57