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France deploys fighter jets over Baltics amid Ukraine tension

Pro-Russian armed men hold their weapons in front of the seized town administration building in Kostyantynivka, 28 April 2014.
Pro-Russian armed men hold their weapons in front of the seized town administration building in Kostyantynivka, 28 April 2014. Reuters/Marko Djurica

France and Britain sent eight fighter jets on Monday to reinforce Nato patrols over the Baltic region as tensions rise over Ukraine.

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Four French Rafale jets arrived on Monday in Malbork in northeast Poland and "around 70 French military staff" have been deployed in the Polish city, said French military spokesman Colonel Gilles Jaron.

The move was to "provide reassurance to our Nato allies in eastern Europe and the Baltic states" added British defence minister Philip Hammond.

Nato announced in April that it would step up its defences, including air patrols and ships, in eastern Europe amid the crisis in Ukraine and Russia's absorption of Crimea.

Last week, the US said it was deploying 600 airbone troops in the region, in a show of solidarity with the Nato members bordering Russia.

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