NATO to discuss reinforcing troops in Poland-German defense ministry

BERLIN Sun Jun 1, 2014 8:13am EDT

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BERLIN (Reuters) - NATO defense ministers will discuss temporarily reinforcing their forces in Poland when they meet in Brussels this week, a spokesman for the German defense ministry said on Sunday.

It has not been decided whether the 28-member alliance will actually reinforce its Multinational Corps Northeast in Szczecin, the spokesman added.

In April Poland's defense minister said Russia's military intervention in Ukraine's Crimea peninsula made it vital that NATO station significant numbers of troops in eastern Europe and ignore any objections Russia might have.

Russia says deployment of significant NATO forces close to Russia would violate the 1997 Founding Act, an agreement between Moscow and the alliance.

Eastern European states nervous about Russia after it annexed Ukraine's Crimea region and massed 40,000 troops on Ukraine's borders. NATO is trying to provide reassurance with temporary deployments of military forces and exercises.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; additional reporting by Adrian Croft in Brussels; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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