Speaking in Warsaw, where Rasmussen was meeting with Polish officials regarding the upcoming NATO Summit in September, the secretary general defended his call to arms in the name of collective defense, stating that "NATO's greatest responsibility is to protect and defend our populations and territory."
NATO defensive actions in response to the crisis in Ukraine are intended, he said, to send "an unmistakable message to Russia: your behaviour does not belong in the 21st century and your rhetoric draws on obscure clichés of the Cold War."
In April, Rasmussen announced NATO was undertaking enhanced collective defense measures in response to Russian aggression. The measures included increased Air Policing in the Baltic States and the deployment of Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft surveillance flights over Poland and Romania.
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