NATO Agrees to Increase Forces Near Ukraine & Russia

UPDATE 6:00 a.m. – NATO has agreed to beef up its land, sea and air forces on its eastern flank near Ukraine and Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military offensive in Ukraine.

NATO ambassadors said in a statement after emergency talks Thursday that “we have increased the readiness of our forces to respond to all contingencies.”

While some of NATO’s 30 member countries are supplying arms, ammunition and other equipment to Ukraine, NATO as an organization is not.

It will not launch any military action in support of Ukraine.

The 30-nation military organization was making preparations Thursday to bolster its defenses in allies neighboring both countries.

Preparations are also underway for a summit of NATO leaders.

Countries closest to the conflict – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland – have triggered rare consultations under Article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty.

These can can be launched when “the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the (NATO) parties is threatened.”