NATO Approves New Force To Deter Russia

Rapid-response force will see several thousand troops deployed in eastern Europe. The announcement came ahead of a cease-fire deal between pro-Russia rebels and Ukraine.

1. Update — Sept. 5, 9:58 a.m. ET:

2. World leaders at the NATO summit in Newport, Wales, have approved plans to dispatch several thousand troops to eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression, the Associated Press reported.

Andrew Winning / Reuters

The plan is aimed at helping NATO counter aggressors, including Russia.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the “spearhead” force will be ready to deploy with the next few days, will be backed be air, sea, and special forces, and will include a command and control center in eastern Europe, CNN reported.

The ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine has caused concern for NATO-member states which share a border with Russia.

3. Rasmussen said:

This decision sends a clear message: NATO protects all allies at all times.

And it sends a clear message to any potential aggressor: Should you even think of attacking one ally, you will be facing the whole alliance.

4. Shortly after NATO’s announcement, pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine announced they and the Kiev government had agreed to a cease-fire deal to end the conflict.

The cease-fire will take effect at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET).

5. The move comes despite Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko saying earlier that he was “absolutely not hopeful” that talks in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, would lead to a resolution, the BBC reported.

Rebecca Naden / Reuters

He said: “Ukraine as a state and me as Ukrainian leader are doing everything possible to have peace.”

6. Fighting in eastern Ukraine had continued today, with reports of shelling near Mariupol and Donetsk.

Shells flying all over the place just a few miles east of Mariupol. Someone mortared a kids holiday camp in Shirokino. No sign of casualties

— Roland Oliphant (@RolandOliphant)

Just heard the sound of numerous heavy explosions just now from the direction of northern Donetsk. #Ukraine

— Paul Brennan (@paulrbrennan)

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Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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