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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EU to unveil new sanctions against Russia

The European Union will today unveil a fresh raft of economic sanctions against Russia in a show of support over the crisis in Ukraine.

The package, to be announced in Brussels, will target state-owned energy and defence companies. Similar sanctions are expected to be announced by the US and Canada.

The plans will go ahead despite Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko expressing "careful optimism" that talks in Minsk could see a ceasefire deal.

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