NATO to draw up new defence plans amid Ukraine crisis: Rasmussen

MARSEILLE, France - NATO Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in an interview published Sunday that the alliance would draw up new defence plans in the face of "Russia's aggression" against Ukraine, urging members to up their military spending.

Echoing comments by British Prime Minister David Cameron, Rasmussen told French regional newspaper Midi Libre that "Russia's aggression was a warning and created a new security situation in Europe".

"We will strengthen military exercises and prepare new defence plans," he said.

"I will encourage NATO countries to increase their defence investments. Over the past five years, Russia has increased its spending on defence by 50 per cent, and NATO countries have reduced theirs by an average of 20 per cent," he added.

"We must reverse the trend."Russian support for pro-Kremlin separatists in eastern Ukraine has angered Europe and the United States, and the downing last month of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over territory held by the rebels brought the crisis to a head.


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