20:23 GMT +307 December 2019
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    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is holding a press-conference.

    NATO Studying Possibility of Increasing Its Presence in Black Sea - Stoltenberg

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    NATO is considering the possibility of providing additional support to Ukraine, as well as expanding its presence in the Black Sea, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Brussels at the closure of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) at the Level of Defence Ministers.

    "NATO allies provide Ukraine with political and practical support, now we are looking at what else can be done… We are looking at the possibility of further increasing our presence in the Black Sea. In the coming days our ships will take part in the exercises in the Black Sea", Stoltenberg said.

    Stoltenberg said that the Allies had an informal breakfast in Brussels with the Ukrainian Minister of Defence, where it confirmed the call for Russia to release the Ukrainian ships and sailors detained after the Kerch Strait incident.

    READ MORE:NATO Has No Plans to Deploy New Ground-Based Systems With Nukes in EU — Official

    The meeting of North Atlantic Council at the Level of Defence Ministers was held amid the US decision to suspend its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty).

    The INF Treaty, which was signed by the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987 and banned all ground-launched missiles with ranges of 310 to 3,400 miles (500 to 5,500 kilometres), has recently become another contentious point in the relationship between the United States and Russia.


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