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NATO pledges to pump more weapons into Ukraine

Jerome Hughes
Press TV, Brussels

There was no mention of peace talks to end the conflict in Ukraine as NATO defense ministers met in Brussels on Thursday. Spain, one of 30 NATO countries, has pledged to supply Kiev with advanced air defense systems.

Ukraine's defense minister Oleksii Reznikov attended the meeting in Brussels. While he's in Belgium, who's running things back in Kiev? It's a question we put to one expert during an online interview.

NATO says it has doubled the number of its battle groups in eastern regions of the alliance. More than 30 warships are patrolling the Baltic Sea and North Sea. Critics say this steady build up in recent years is designed to provoke Russia and keep NATO relevant while pumping trillions into the arms industry. NATO's Article 5 states that an attack on one member of the alliance is an attack on all of its members.

NATO says Russia's nuclear forces are being closely monitored. The alliance confirms it's going ahead with nuclear war deterrence exercises next week, dubbed 'Steadfast Noon'.

The drills will involve nuclear-capable aircraft but apparently will not include any live bombs. Asked if the timing is bad given heightened tensions, NATO boss Jens Stoltenberg said it would send out the wrong signal if the exercises were suddenly cancelled now.

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