"We think a strong response is necessary."
OTTAWA NATO's decision Tuesday to end civilian and military co operation with Russia is just one step in a long journey to end the Ukraine crisis, says Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.
military assets in eastern NATO nations like Poland and the Baltic states.
"We're going to be very supportive. Last year, we sent 500 observers. We're going to want to play an equally strong role in helping the Ukrainian people cast their ballots in a free and fair election," he said.
shut down his country's NATO membership bid.
"That will be a decision for the people of Ukraine and their elected government."
Baird said NATO has been "a spectacularly successful alliance" and lauded its collective defence provision.
He said Ukraine's exiled president Viktor Yanukovych All Black Nike Air Max 2015
During a session at NATO, Baird affirmed the alliance's "Open Door Policy" which encourages countries with aspirations to join it on its "Euro Atlantic path."
Baird also met Tuesday with his Polish counterpart, Radosaw Sikorski.
"We've got a whole range of options that we're taking. Obviously, we want to stand in solidarity with our NATO allies, and beef up tactical support, co operation and efforts," Baird said.
"Article 5 is the cornerstone of the alliance," he said. "Today, countries like Romania, Poland and the Baltic republics are pretty glad they're in NATO."
Analysts have said that Moldova's breakaway region of Transnistria, which borders Ukraine, may be next target of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Baird suggested Canada will be sending at least 500 election observers to next month's elections.
"There's no one action which is going to get the change we want. This is just one more step in a long journey to say that it's unacceptable that in 2014 one man in the Kremlin can try to rewrite the boundaries of Europe."
"We've got a number of crises. We've got the problem, the occupation, the illegal annexation of Crimea. We've got the troop build up on Eastern Ukraine, concerns about Odessa, concerns about Moldova, concerns about Georgia and more broadly concerned about NATO proper," said Baird.
Baird wouldn't comment specifically on possible NATO troop options, except to say the alliance's military exercises which Russia often finds provocative would continue.
Baird met behind closed doors Tuesday with his counterparts in the 28 member alliance, which is facing its most serious crisis in recent years. Secretary of State John Kerry says the ministers agreed unanimously on a number of points, including possible redeployment of Air Max Thea Blue Running Shoes
Baird said NATO will consider a series of options to counter Russia's unilateral annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. The minister said capacity building, tactical support and beefing up assets are among them.
In fact, Baird said he did Air Max Thea Red White
not discuss Ukraine's possible NATO candidacy with its new temporary government during his recent visit to Kyiv.
Baird says NATO considering Ukraine options as alliance cuts ties with Russia
As for Ukraine's possible membership in NATO, he said it would be premature to discuss, given that the country is to hold elections next month.
"NATO has had a relationship with Ukraine. What goes on there matters to us."
"This is exactly what Canada did weeks ago. It's not going Nike Air Max 2015 America to be business as usual so we're suspending all civilian and military co operation with the Russian Federation," Baird told The Canadian Press from Brussels.
"Today, Ukraine is not a candidate country. You can't make someone a member of a club, an organization, if they haven't requested," Baird said.
In recent days, Baird visited NATO member Romania and Ukraine's neighbour Moldova as a deliberate show of solidarity prior to Tuesday's foreign minister's meeting. He said the current crisis has implications for other countries in the region.
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