Residents of Gotland, Sweden, are concerned about the latest Russian military maneuvers taking place just a few hundred kilometers away. Sweden responds by hosting a major NATO military exercise.
Chancellor Merkel pledged to press Vladimir Putin over the latest escalation in Ukraine while opening a key Berlin conference with Ukrainian officials. Ukraine's Poroshenko has asked NATO for naval assistance.
Nearly 50,000 troops are joining NATO war games in Norway to test alliance defenses against a "fictitious aggressor." Germany is the second largest participant as it prepares to head NATO's rapid response force.
NATO says its 40,000-troop "Trident Juncture" exercises to be spearheaded by a German brigade, will proceed in Norway in October. Russia was briefed about the maneuvers near its border by NATO ambassadors last May.
Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist said Sweden will provide troops only if both Russia and the West agree. Western officials are considering deploying a force led by non-NATO nations in eastern Ukraine.
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