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US president Barack Obama has urged NATO countries to collectively stand up to Russia in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, saying defences needed to be bolstered in the region.

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US president Barack Obama
US president Barack Obama

"In Warsaw, we must reaffirm our determination — our duty under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty — to defend every NATO ally," Obama said today at NATO's Warsaw summit, reported Reuters.

"We need to bolster the defense of our allies in central and eastern Europe, strengthen deterrence and boost our resilience against new threats, including cyber-attacks," he said.

However, NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg said that NATO was neither seeking a confrontation or attempting to start another Cold War.

"Nato does not seek confrontation. We don't want a new Cold War. The Cold War is history and it should remain history."

However, Russia's ambassador to Nato, Alexander Grushko, told the BBC that there was a risk of a "spiral of confrontation" by building what he called a "new Iron Curtain". Grushko told the BBC that the decision would lead to "military consequences".

The head of NATO's military committee, Czech General Petr Pavel, said Russia was attempting to restore its status as a world power, an effort that includes using its military.

"We must accept that Russia can be a competitor, adversary, peer or partner and probably all four at the same time," Pavel said.

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