BBC News on September 1, 2014, reported that Nato is to agree on a rapid response force of several thousand troops to protect Eastern European members against possible Russian aggression, says its secretary general.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the force could be deployed within 48 hours. Excerpts below:

The new measures are set to be approved at a Nato summit in Wales this week.

It comes after Nato members in eastern and Baltic states voiced concern over Russia’s regional ambitions in the wake of the continuing Ukraine crisis.

Mr Rasmussen said military equipment and supplies would be pre-positioned in member states in the east as part of a Readiness Action Plan, enabling the quick deployment of the force.

It would make the Western military alliance a more visible presence in Eastern Europe and “fitter, faster and more flexible to adjust to all kinds of security challenges,” he told reporters in Brussels on September 1.

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