NATO to protect Baltics but no treaty change with Russia - Merkel

BERLIN, Sept 3 Wed Sep 3, 2014 7:49am EDT

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BERLIN, Sept 3 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday NATO would guarantee the sovereignty of the Baltic States at a summit in Wales this week but would not change its treaties with Russia.

"We can count on the sovereignty of the Baltic states being guaranteed," Merkel said at a news conference with Myanmar President Thein Sein.

She said that all measures decided by NATO at the summit would comply with treaties between NATO and Russia, but NATO also had to improve its ability to react quickly in the region.

"We have to meet the wishes of these countries and reaction times of various months are really of no help," she said.

Merkel was also asked about the Australian prime minister's proposal to exclude Russian President Vladimir Putin from an upcoming G20 summit in Brisbane. She said she would discuss it with Tony Abbott when they meet soon, though she did not give a date. (Reporting by Stephen Brown; Editing by Madeline Chambers)

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