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President Says Estonia Wants Permanent NATO Bases

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves says his country wants NATO to set up permanent bases on its territory to protect it against potential threats from Russia.

Ilves said on September 2, "We should not have NATO with two-tier countries: with NATO permanent bases and without. This is the wrong signal to send to the potential aggressor."

The Baltic countries in NATO - Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania - have grown increasingly concerned about potential threats from neighboring Russia as the crisis has escalated in Ukraine, where the West says Russia has sent troops and military equipment to help separatists fighting the government.

U.S. President Barack Obama is due to arrive in Estonia on September 2 for meetings with Baltic leaders before traveling to a NATO summit in Wales.

At the September 4-5 summit, NATO is expected to unveil plans for expand its military infrastructure near Russia's borders.

Based on reporting by Reuters