NATO has announced the deployment of 'additional defensive land and air forces' to the eastern part of the bloc and an increase in the readiness of all its forces 'to respond to all contingencies,' in light of the Russian military 'operation' in Ukraine, RT reported.
"Russia's actions pose a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security, and they will have geostrategic consequences. NATO will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure the security and defence of all Allies," the alliance said on Thursday in a statement.
Following emergency consultations, the bloc decided "to take additional steps" to strengthen its "deterrence and defence."
"Our measures are and remain preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory," NATO said, as per the report.
The alliance called Russia's military 'operation' "a horrifying attack on Ukraine, which is entirely unjustified and unprovoked" and called upon Moscow to "immediately cease" the action.
"Russia will pay a very heavy economic and political price. NATO will continue to coordinate closely with relevant stakeholders and other international organisations including the EU," the statement reads.
NATO claims that it has "made every effort to pursue diplomacy and dialogue with Russia" and has "repeatedly invited" it for talks in the NATO-Russia Council, RT reported.
"Russia has still not reciprocated. It is Russia, and Russia alone, which has chosen escalation," it said.
Russia launched its "special operation" in Ukraine on Thursday morning. As President Putin said, the operation is aimed at stopping the Ukrainian army's attacks on the two breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, now recognized by Moscow as sovereign states.
In Putin's opinion, NATO used Ukraine as a proxy, which could threaten Russia militarily. He underlined that his government had to act immediately to demilitarize its neighbouring country and to ensure that no attack against Russia occurs in the future on NATO's terms.