The head of NATO says the alliance would not be forced into a new arms race with Russia, said Moscow's aggression compelled it to strengthen its defenses. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
As NATO Defense ministers arrive in Brussels -- NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance would not be forced into a new arms race with Russia -- but will fortify its defenses. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL, JENS STOLTENBERG, SAYING: "We will not be dragged into an arms race. But we must keep our countries safe." The NATO meeting comes after the U.S. announced plans this week to station tanks and heavy weapons in NATO member states on Russia's border -- this came shortly after President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would add 40 missiles to its nuclear arsenal. After the meeting, Stoltenberg said members agreed to bolster its rapid response team. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL, JENS STOLTENBERG, SAYING: "First we decided to increase further the strength and capability of the NATO response force, including its air, maritime and special operations components. Altogether, the enhanced NATO response force will consist of up to 40,000 personnel. This represents a substantial increase from the previous level of 13,000." The meetings come as Russian soldiers are carrying out large scale military drills-- which started on June 22nd and will continue until the 26th.