The Associated Press cites the Atlantic Council for hosting Secretary of State John Kerry at its two-day “Towards a Europe Whole and Free” conference:

Speaking at the Atlantic Council think-tank, Kerry said NATO is facing a defining moment in the strength of its alliance. He pledged anew that NATO partners – including those that border Ukraine or Russia – would be defended to the hilt if their sovereignty is threatened.

“NATO territory is inviolable,” Kerry said in his 20-minute speech. “We will defend every single piece of it.”

He lambasted Moscow for what he described as reneging on a diplomatic deal struck two weeks ago in Geneva to calm tensions between pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and the central government in Kiev. For weeks, separatists in key Russian-speaking eastern cities have overtaken local government buildings and stirred unrest in protesting the leadership in Kiev.

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