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2-day NATO meeting in Brussels on Moscow's role in Syria

Reporter: Mariam Zaidi 丨 CCTV.com

10-27-2016 10:31 BJT

In Brussels, NATO is preparing for its biggest military build-up since the Cold War. The United States, the United Kingdom, and several other members have agreed to send troops to the Baltics and eastern Europe.

CCTV's correspondent has more on those moves, and why NATO member Spain is under pressure after it offered to re-supply Russian warships heading to Syria.

NATO defense ministers are in Brussels for a two-day meeting in an effort to send Russia a message. And that message is NATO allies are not going to sit idly by while Russia deploys ballistic missiles that could hit targets in Poland and the Baltics.

The gathering is a follow-up to July's summit in Warsaw which saw a commitment by NATO to deploy a rotation of four-thousand troops by 2017 to the Baltics and eastern Europe in a show of force, amid fears of Russian aggression along the NATO-Russia border.  

"NATO does not seek confrontation with Russia. We don't want a new Cold War or want a new arms race so what NATO does is defensive and proportionate. At the same time, NATO has to react," said Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General.

There was another issue getting attention as the NATO meeting got underway. Spain had been allowing Russian vessels to refuel at one of its ports, raising concerns among allies those ships could take part in airstrikes on Aleppo. 

"The UK is concerned that any NATO member would assist a Russian carrier group that might end up bombing Syrian civilians," said Michael Fallon, British Defense Secretary.

A call for trans-Atlantic solidarity was quickly achieved at the NATO meeting here in Brussels, The Spanish Foreign Ministry issued a statement to announce. Russia had withdrawn its request to have Spain refuel its warships.

At his news conference following the meeting, Stoltenberg spoke of further commitments by the allies in addition to the pledged forces led by Canada, Germany, Britain and the United States. He said NATO would establish a new unit on intelligence and look to strengthen cyber defense.

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