NATO sending surveillance planes to Ukraine border

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO says it is dispatching surveillance aircraft to fly over Poland and Romania to monitor the crisis unfolding in neighboring Ukraine.

The military alliance says the decision to send AWACS reconnaissance planes was taken by the ambassadors of NATO's 28 member states Monday to intensify the assessment of the possible threat the crisis poses to the alliance.

NATO stresses the flights will only take place above the territory of its member nations — thus not crossing into either Ukrainian or Russian airspace. It says the AWCAS, or Airborne Warning And Control System, aircraft, will take off from their bases in Geilenkirchen, Germany, and Waddington, Britain, in the coming days.

The NATO decision comes after deployments of U.S. fighter planes to eastern European nations bordering Russia such as Poland and Lithuania.

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