NATO Mulls Stepping Up Security at Borders with Russia
NATO's Foreign Ministers are to meet on Monday and discuss measures that could be taken at borders between Russia and member states.
It will be the first such gathering since Crimea's incorporation into Russia in mid-March, which followed a referendum that approved secession from Ukraine.
In the weeks after Crimea's move, NATO members raised concerns over a Russian troops' buildup at the Eastern borders of Ukraine.
Even though a partial pullback was ordered by Russia, soldiers are still reportedly amassed near Ukraine, with NATO officials warning against possible "aggression" in other regions of the country or even other ex-Soviet states.
Setting up permanent military bases in the Baltic states has also been quoted as an option.
Talks with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchitsya are also due to take place during the meeting, as the alliance will seek ways to support Ukraine with its defense reforms, the BBC has reported.
Over the past two months, security has virtually been beefed up at NATO-Russia borders, with military drills and reconnaissance flights covering the territories of most alliance members neighboring Russia or Ukraine, starting with the Baltic states and ending with the Black Sea coasts of Romania and Bulgaria.
The EUObserver has revealed that Germany has stated readiness to increase security measures at Russian borders with flights to patrol the airspace over Romania and Poland. Berlin could also take part in training flights within NATO's air policing mission over the Baltic states.
Apart from discussing Ukraine, the two-day summit in NATO's HQ in Brussles is also to mark the tenth anniversary of the alliance's biggest enlargement in 2004, in which Bulgaria also took part.
Bulgarian TV channel bTV, citing diplomatic sources, has suggested that other enlargement moves by NATO, though not on the agenda this week, could be discussed in the summer.