NATO pledges to 'strengthen defences' and be 'ready'.

NATO must build out "even higher readiness" and strengthen its weapons capabilities along its eastern border in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg was speaking after informal talks in the Netherlands with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the leaders of Denmark, Poland, Latvia, Romania, Portugal and Belgium ahead of a wider NATO summit in Madrid at the end of the month.

"In Madrid, we will agree a major strengthening of our posture," he said. "Tonight we discussed the need for more robust and combat-ready forward presence and an even higher readiness and more pre-positioned equipment and supplies."

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