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Thousands of Nato troops in show of force with military exercise

Nato staged a major military exercise in Latvia in a practical demonstration of leaders' commitment to defend its Baltic member states in the face of aggression from larger neighbours.

Around 500 paratroopers, hundreds of vehicles and aircraft are taking part in the exercise in Latvia's capital Riga. Exercise 'Steadfast Javelin II' simulates a deployment of Nato soldiers and equipment in another country in a crisis situation.

At a two-day Nato summit meeting in Wales members agreed to form a new rapid reaction force and to step up exercises in eastern Europe in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine.

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World leaders expected in Newport for Nato summit

Barack Obama and Angela Merkel are expected to arrive in Newport for the 2014 Nato summit, with staff at the Celtic Manor Resort preparing to cater for 60 world leaders.

Security fencing and pedestrian checkpoints, which are set up opposite Cardiff Castle ahead of the NATO summit in Newport, Wales. Credit: PA

An estimated £50 million security operation is in full flow, with almost 10,000 extra police officers drafted in from forces around the country to protect delegates.

Twelve miles of security fencing has been erected around roads in Newport and Cardiff to guard the summit.

The summit kicks off amid growing tensions between Ukraine and Russia, with many looking to Nato to lead a fight back against separatist forces, allegedly armed by Vladimir Putin.

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