NATO leaders have approved a “rapid response” force with a headquarters in Eastern Europe that “sends a clear message to any potential aggressor,” according to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Rasmussen said Poland, Romania, and the Baltic states have offered to host a so-called “reception facility” for deployment of military equipment.

British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to deploy 3,500 troops for “Operation Spearhead” to deal with “challenges” in Europe.

No Evidence of Invasion

The West has accused Russia of invading neighboring Ukraine in response to the government in Kiev attacking “separatists” opposed to its rule following a violent coup led by neofascists in February.

In late August Ukraine claimed four to five thousand Russian ground troops had crossed the border. The Kiev government offered no evidence of an invasion.

“So far, the only ‘invasion’ that had any truth to it at all was the one where Russian trucks delivered humanitarian aid to the city of Luhansk, and while Ukraine was eager to chalk it up to a military invasion, the trucks left the following day,” Jason Ditz wrote on August 29.

In addition to sending troops into countries bordering Russia, NATO leaders meeting in Cardiff, Wales, plan another round of economic sanctions. The “threat of economic punishment” came after the Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, met to discuss Russian “incursions.”

Prior to the Wales meeting British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond said the West plans additional sanctions. Hammond said the sanctions may be lifted depending on the outcome of peace talks and a ceasefire to be discussed on Friday.

Ceasefire Agreement

A European official said Friday from the Belarusian capital of Minsk the Ukrainian government and “Russian backed rebels” had signed a ceasefire agreement.

On July 1 Poroshenko decided not to renew a ceasefire agreement and promised instead to “attack and liberate our land.”

“Termination of cease-fire is our response to terrorists, insurgents, marauders… and (those who) deprive people of normal peaceful life,” he said.

In June the United Nations Human Rights monitoring commission said the Ukrainian government engages in detentions, kidnapping, tortures and killing of people, including women and children.

Additionally, Human Rights Watch, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, CNN journalists and EU deputies believe the Ukrainian government is in violation of international conventions by using outlawed cluster, phosphorous bombs and explosive bullets against people, including children.

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