Ukraine's parliament on Tuesday approved a series of joint military exercises with NATO countries that would put US troops in direct proximity to Russian forces in the annexed Crimea peninsula.
"This is a good opportunity to develop our armed forces," acting defence minister Mykhailo Koval told Verkhovna Rada lawmakers ahead of the 235-0 vote.
The decision came as NATO foreign ministers gathered in Brussels for a two-day meeting dominated by concern over the recent buildup of Russian forces near Crimea that US officials estimate had at one point reached about 40,000 troops.
Ukraine has said that Russian troops have moved away from the border, just days before the country's make-or-break presidential poll, but stopped short of confirming the full withdrawal the West demands. Read more...