NATO to send AWACS jets to monitor Ukraine

Surveillance planes to be deployed in Poland and Romania by NATO to monitor the situation in Ukraine.

Surveillance planes to be deployed in Poland and Romania by NATO to monitor the situation in Ukraine.

BRUSSELS - NATO has decided to deploy AWACS, Airborne Warning and Control System, planes in Poland and Romania to monitor the Ukrainian crisis and in particular Russia`s military activity in Crimea.

"All AWACS reconnaissance flights will take place solely over alliance territory," said a NATO spokesman about the go-ahead for the flights.

The move is in line with NATO`s desire to obtain more details about the situation in the region and Russia`s increasing military presence ahead of the Crimea`s referendum on March 16.

NATO said the surveillance flights would "enhance the alliance`s situational awareness."

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO`S Secretary-General expressed strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and renewed the call on Russia to withdraw its troops from the Crimea region.

"In the 21st century no one should attempt to draw new borders on the map of Europe," Rasmussen said in an interview with Germany’s largest mass-circulation daily, Bild.

NATO is also reviewing all co-operation with Russia and stepping up its engagement with Ukraine`s interim government in Kiev.

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