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NATO leaders to unveil outlines of rapid response force aimed at deterring Russian aggression

  • Britain NATO Summit-1.jpg

    U.S. President Barack Obama, right, stands alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron during a flypast at the NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super) (The Associated Press)

  • Britain NATO Summit-2.jpg

    U.S. President Barack Obama smiles during a flypast at the NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super) (The Associated Press)

  • c95c769ecccbc5225e0f6a706700c415.jpg

    U.S. President Barack Obama, front row center, stands with NATO heads of state and government including Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, front row centre right, and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, front left, as they pose for a group photo prior to a NATO summit dinner at Cardiff Castle in Cardiff, Wales on Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. In a two-day summit leaders will discuss, among other issues, the situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Jon Super) (The Associated Press)

NATO leaders will announce the outlines of a rapid response force that aims to soothe fears among member states on the alliance's eastern flank and deter Russian aggression.

The agreement will clear the way for NATO countries to position more troops and equipment in Eastern Europe. Countries in the region fear they could be Russia's next target following its provocations in Ukraine.

NATO's announcements Friday will come against the backdrop of peace talks in Minsk, Belarus, which are expected to lead to a cease-fire. Western leaders have expressed skepticism about the process.

The outcome of the talks could determine whether Western nations levy additional sanctions on Russia. A top U.S. official says the penalties could be implemented within a matter of days.