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NATO Looking at Increasing Drills in Baltic Region, Top General Says

A specialist inspects Canadian Air Task Force jet CF-188 after landing in the Siauliai air base, Lithuania.

SZCZECIN, Poland — NATO's top military commander, General Philip Breedlove, said Tuesday that the defense alliance was looking at beefing up its exercises in the Baltic Sea region in response to a surge last month in Russian military maneuvers there.

"There will be several adaptations of our exercise program. The first series of changes will not be an increase in number but they will be to group them together … to better prepare our forces and to allow nations to work together as a NATO force, but we are looking at increasing some exercises," Breedlove said on a visit to a NATO base at Szczecin in north-west Poland.

Breedlove also said Russia continued to provide aid for separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine, clouding prospects for peace talks.

"Yes, there was a lull, but what there was not a lull in is the continued resupply, continued training and continued organization of the forces east of the line of conflict," Breedlove said. "Their activities continue to provide a concern."

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