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NATO response force put on alert amid tensions with Russia: report

23.12.2021 14:30
NATO has put parts of its rapid response force on standby amid tensions with Russia over Ukraine, a Polish website has reported.
Ukrainian reservists take part in a military exercise near the capital Kyiv earlier this month.
Ukrainian reservists take part in a military exercise near the capital Kyiv earlier this month.Photo: EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

Due to an increased presence of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine, the NATO Response Force (NRF) is expected to be ready for possible deployment in the event of a crisis within five days, not seven as before, the defence24.pl website reported, citing Germany's Die Zeit newspaper.

The NATO Response Force is a multinational, rapidly deployable task force consisting of up to 40,000 troops from all the branches of the armed forces, according to defence24.pl.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian military forces have conducted combat drills with US-made Javelin anti-tank missiles in a conflict area with separatists in eastern Ukraine as tensions run high with Russia, the Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday, citing Ukrainian Dom television channel.

Ukraine, which seeks to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, has since 2018 received a series of consignments of US ammunition and Javelin missiles, prompting criticism from Moscow, Reuters reported.

Poland’s top diplomat Zbigniew Rau on Wednesday completed a two-day visit to Ukraine where he told a diplomatic conference that Kyiv had a right to freely decide its fate and choose its alliances, according to the Polish foreign ministry. 

Referring to tensions between Ukraine and Russia as well as the Kremlin’s demands that NATO not expand further eastwards, Rau said that Ukraine had "the same rights as any other country ... to freely decide its fate, to choose its model of development and the alliances it wants to join."

Rau reaffirmed Warsaw’s support for Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity based on that country's internationally recognised borders, the Polish foreign ministry said.


Source: defence24.pl, Reuters