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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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Hammond: 'We're not holding our breath' for ceasefire

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said "we're not holding our breath" for a breakthrough in the peace talks between Russia and Ukraine taking place in Minsk today.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Nato summit in Wales, he said it was important not to be distracted by "noises of a ceasefire" until there are changes on the ground in Ukraine.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond

He added: "If there is an agreement later today, if ... we see Russian troops going back into Russia, the supply of equipment to the separatists ending, the shelling and rocket fire from across the Russian border into Ukraine ending, then of course we can then talk about lifting sanctions off."

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