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NATO says 2 AWAC surveillance planes have taken off to monitor Ukraine from Poland, Romania

  • b079a4f2014e380a4e0f6a706700ddb7.jpg

    A Nato AWACS plane takes off the NATO Airbase in Geilenkirchen, Germany, Wednesday, March 12, 2014. AWACS planes flying out of Geilenkirchen to patrol over Romania and Poland. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) (The Associated Press)

  • cd8832da0152380a4e0f6a70670020c2.jpg

    A Nato AWACS plane takes off the NATO Airbase in Geilenkirchen, Germany, Wednesday, March 12, 2014. AWACS planes flying out of Geilenkirchen to patrol over Romania and Poland. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) (The Associated Press)

NATO says it has dispatched two surveillance planes to fly over Poland and Romania to monitor the crisis unfolding in neighboring Ukraine.

The military alliance says two AWAC, or Airborne Warning And Control System, reconnaissance planes took off from its bases in Geilenkirchen, Germany, and Waddington, Britain, on Wednesday morning.

A spokesman for NATO's operational headquarters in Mons, Belgium, said the flights will not leave the air space of its member nations — thus not crossing either into Ukrainian or Russian airspace.

Lt. Col. Jay Janzen said that one AWAC aircraft already went on a surveillance mission to Romania on Tuesday and that more missions were being planned.

NATO's 28 member states decided Monday to intensify the assessment of the possible threat the Ukrainian crisis poses to the alliance.

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