4 September 2014 Last updated at 11:44

As it happened: Nato summit - Day One

Key Points

  • More than 60 world leaders have gathered in Wales for a Nato summit taking place in the city of Newport.
  • All of Nato's 28 member countries are represented, with 4,000 delegates attending amid a security operation unprecedented in the UK.
  • The first session discussed the future of Afghanistan, with Nato combat troops due to leave this year.
  • Ukraine, the Islamic State militant threat and the very future of Nato are also concentrating minds.
  • Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Nato would stand by Ukraine in "these difficult times"
  • All times in BST (GMT plus one hour)

    More than 60 world leaders - plus the world's media - are in the Welsh city of Newport. The reason: a Nato summit which is being described as the most crucial in decades.


    The 26th Nato summit is being held at what is potentially a critical time in world history. Ukraine and Afghanistan will be key items on the agenda for the 28 member states but the most pressing discussions are expected to be about what action should be taken in Iraq and Syria against the militant group Islamic State.


    This is undoubtedly a big deal for Wales. Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said it was "an exciting and historic moment for our country" and Prime Minister David Cameron called it "a great moment to put the best face of Wales forward - the brilliance of Welsh industry, of Welsh people - a great place to locate, a great place to come".


    And as Carwyn Jones points out on Twitter, this is the first time that a serving US president has visited Wales.


    US President Barack Obama and David Cameron have already arrived. Here's Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones greeting them.

    Carwyn and Barack

    So what is Nato?

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation - the world's most powerful regional defence alliance - was formed in 1949 to counter the threat of post-war communist expansion.


    This summit comes amid the most serious security crisis in Europe since the end of the Cold War, says the BBC's diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus.

    Cameron and Obama

    The prime minister and the US president have also met for talks on Iraq, Syria and Ukraine, the PM tweeted.


    Earlier children at Mount Pleasant Primary School got a visit they will remember for a while - as a 22-car convoy carrying Mr Obama and Mr Cameron swept through the gates. The two leaders spent 30 minutes at the school before joining other delegates. Barack Obama greeted the school children by saying "Bore Da" - or "good morning" for those who haven't mastered the Welsh tongue.


    The two-day summit is the 26th in Nato's history and the first since 1990 to be held on UK soil. That last gathering was hosted by Margaret Thatcher in London.


    So what will the key discussions be about? The events in Ukraine over the past five months will be right at the top of the agenda

    Some 2,600 people have died in fighting between Ukrainian troops and rebels. The West says it has evidence that Mr Putin is supporting the separatists with training and arms, but Russia denies this.

    On Thursday, Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen criticised Russia's "destabilising" influence on the crisis.


    Anti-Nato protests are planned during the summit. At the moment, demonstrators are beginning to gather in the centre of Newport for a march towards Celtic Manor, the summit's venue. There are currently an estimated 150 of them, and the protest is due to start at 1300.


    Also likely to be much discussed is the ongoing situation in Iraq and Syria. In a BBC interview ahead of the summit, David Cameron said he would not rule anything out in relation to military action against Islamic State militants. He said the UK would not pay a ransom to free a Briton being held hostage. And on the Ukraine crisis, he said sanctions were the "right way to tell the Russians that what they are doing is unacceptable".


    As you'd expect, there is a "ring of steel" surrounding the Celtic Manor resort, the BBC's Jamie Owen reports. He says the warnings about traffic seem to have done the trick, as there's little sign of the anticipated gridlock in the surrounding roads.


    The Nato visit is shining the spotlight on Newport and Wales. According to the UK government, this will showcase "the tremendous potential in Wales for investment and business, tourism and study".


    UK Prime Minister David Cameron (right) and Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen have been greeting each world leader in turn. Here they are with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

     Prime Minister David Cameron (R) and Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (L) greet Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt

    More on those travel warnings on the roads of south Wales:

    Roads between the Celtic Manor Resort and Cardiff are most likely to be hit, but there are no plans to close the M4.

    Traffic has already been restricted in Cardiff city centre, where some roads have now been closed due to the summit.


    US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel (left) has tweeted a picture of himself meeting his UK counterpart, Michael Fallon, who is sitting down in the right of the shot.

    Chuck Hagel and Michael Fallon in Newport

    Reports are coming in of fighting on the eastern edge of Mariupol, the port city in south-east Ukraine viewed as the rebels' potential next target.

    A Ukrainian border guard based in the port told the BBC's Ukrainian service that artillery had started to shell Mariupol's defences from the direction of rebel-held Novoazovsk. Police in the town confirmed for the BBC they could hear "some" explosions.

    An unnamed eyewitness was quoted by Russia's Interfax news agency as saying, "We can distinctly hear explosions and large-calibre rounds". The fighting seemed to be coming from the direction of Novoazovsk, the witness added.

    Separately, an unnamed rebel official told Interfax Ukrainian troops were trying to break out of their "encirclement" at Mariupol.


    With the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, this week's Nato summit is said to be the most important for decades. The BBC's 80-second guide gives some other key dates in the alliance's 65-year history. There is also a timeline dating back to its formation by 12 states in 1949.


    Leaders have gathered for their official photocall at Celtic Manor. In the foreground are (from left) Mr Cameron, Mr Fogh Rasmussen and Mr Obama.

    Nato summit group photo

    In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused Washington of backing the "party of war" in Kiev.

    He told a news conference that Russia was "doing and will do" everything in its power to secure peace in eastern Ukraine.


    An anti-Nato protest march from the centre of Newport is under way. An estimated 500 demonstrators are taking part, and it is almost three miles (5km) from the gates of Celtic Manor.

    Anti-Nato protesters in Newport, 4 September

    David Cameron will update the House of Commons on Monday following the summit, and MPs have been allocated time to debate the Middle East, North Africa, Ukraine and the security situation next Wednesday.

    13:16: Jonathan Marcus BBC diplomatic correspondent

    Of course Ukraine is not the only crisis acting as a backdrop to this summit.

    The growing threat of instability in the Middle East will also be discussed; the murder of two Western journalists by Islamic State (IS) - a brutal jihadist movement that encompasses a large swathe of territory in both Iraq and Syria - highlighting the proximity of the arc of crisis stretching out towards Nato's borders.

    Here too it is easier to describe the threat than to determine what to do about it.

    Nato faces up to crises on its borders


    In the main summit conference chamber in Newport, delegates are asked to stand as the flags of the member states are paraded in by service personnel to the sounds of Men of Harlech. There follows a minute's silence in memory of people who have lost their lives in combat.


    Opening the first session, which will focus on the future of Afghanistan, David Cameron says Nato remains "fully committed" to a "peaceful, secure and prosperous future" for the country. The public part of the meeting is now over.


    As world leaders mingle at the Nato summit in Wales, reports coming in from Ukraine suggest the fighting there has reignited and is spreading.

    A group of 40 Russian paratroopers backed by four tanks has been probing the defences of Mariupol, the official Ukrainian governor of Donetsk region, Serhiy Taruta, is quoted as saying by Ukrainian news website Liga Novosti.

    The same news website says there are reports on social media of a column of eight Russian tanks coming under fire near the city, and two being hit and on fire.

    Children have been sent home from school early in the city and some factories are sending home their workers early, according to Liga Novosti.

    David in Drumoak, Scotland

    emails: I am generally an ageing conservative, middle of the road and not highly political. But even I am aghast at what is going on. Instead of spending huge amounts of our money on more guns and missiles, more deployment and haranguing others for their behaviour, the west needs to look at itself and ask - how do others see us, post Iraq, post Libya, post Syria, post supporting and financing the bringing down of a legal, elected government in Ukraine - and post all the financial and political corruption in the west over the last 5-10 years.

    Ronald Sutherland in Tain, Scotland

    emails: Wouldn't it make sense for such pro-Russian rebels to go to live in Russia, not the Ukraine; unless of course, the Russians are trying to seize back territory associated with the former USSR.


    Although the threat from Islamic State is not on the agenda for the summit, it is the "most dangerous challenge" facing the alliance, BBC diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall says.

    Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is not ruling out Nato involvement, she adds.

    UK Prime Minister

    tweets: PM at #NATOSummitUK: We can be proud of what we've achieved in #Afghanistan - read about UK's work there since 2001 http://ow.ly/B509N


    This summit was originally called to discuss the withdrawal of Nato forces from Afghanistan after 13 years of fighting Taliban militants there. There are questions over how many - if any - foreign soldiers will remain after the 2014 deadline. Read our guide to foreign forces in Afghanistan .

    Kyle in Abergavenny, Wales

    emails: Ironic that the very leaders that cause the most war and bloodshed on earth are gathered together to talk about achieving peace....


    More from David Cameron, opening the session of Afghanistan. The PM said: "The best way to honour our fallen soldiers" is to help Afghans ensure their country does not fall into extremists' hands.

    BBC Wales News

    has tweeted a photo of protesters in Newport.

    Nato protest march in Newport

    How has Ukraine reached crisis point? The BBC has traced the developments in the conflict on a timeline.


    The man who sent shock waves through Europe this spring when he sent troops into Crimea has been visiting southern Siberia. Here is Russian President Vladimir Putin in the city of Gorno-Altaisk.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on a visit to the Siberian city of Gorno-Altaisk, 4 September
    14:10: BBC Monitoring

    Sweden may move even closer to Nato, with an agreement expected to be signed at a summit on Thursday.

    While not a Nato member, Sweden is in the alliance's Partnership for Peace group, and has participated by sending troops to countries like Afghanistan.

    Now Svenska Dagbladet newspaper reports Sweden will enter a top-tier group of countries with "enhanced opportunities for co-operation". Finland, Georgia, Australia and Jordan will also get this status.


    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said he will order a ceasefire on Friday for government forces battling rebels in the east, paving the way for a "stage-by-stage peace plan". He stressed the order was conditional on a meeting taking place with Russian and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe envoys in the Belarussian capital Minsk. He was speaking on the sidelines of the Nato summit in Newport.


    The UK has signed a deal to sell 123 surplus armed vehicles to Latvia. The Ministry of Defence said the deal, worth £39.4m ($64.7), was "just one way we are supporting our Baltic Nato allies".


    Mr Poroshenko says Nato will adopt a declaration backing stronger military support for Kiev in the face of Russia's perceived aggression against Ukraine. "In its declaration, Nato will confirm resolute bilateral steps by its member states to support military and technological assistance for Ukraine," he said. "This is exactly what we were waiting for."


    Here is Ukraine's president with Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the summit.

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (left) with Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the summit in Newport, 4 September

    David Cameron and Barack Obama have written a joint article in The Times.

    Last time Nato met in Britain, in 1990, the Cold War was ending, they said.

    "As Margaret Thatcher and President George HW Bush pledged to continue to stand together, many might have thought - even hoped - that a new era of peace and prosperity would make this great security alliance less relevant and less needed.

    "But the truth is that today Nato is as vital to our future as it has ever been in our past."


    Mr Rasmussen has promised "important steps" to tackle the threat from Islamic State, the militant group which made headlines again this week by beheading a US journalist. Read our guide to one of the most feared Islamist groups now active.

    James Landale Deputy political editor

    Exclusive: I have been told that Conservative whips have begun asking Tory MPs for their views on military action against Islamic State


    What role in Nato would an independent Scotland play, in the event of a Yes vote in the referendum on 18 September? BBC Scotland correspondent James Cook has taken a look at the issues involved.

    Peter in Dorset, UK

    emails: Evil old NATO eh? Its fiendish machinations against peace loving peoples makes one quite nostalgic for the peaceable regimes it opposed doesn't it? Old Slobodan never meant any harm to anyone...unless you were Albanian, or Croat or Muslim in which case he was murderous. Likewise, the two great humanitarians Muamar and Saddam who did so much good for their people...sorely missed. Mustn't forget that beacon of light and tolerance towards all Mullah Omar. No doubt things are much better in Russia where no doubt you'd be free to criticise the regime to your hearts content, not that it's entirely understandable need to defend its people (albeit not actually living in Russia) against those vicious Ukrainian fascists would need protesting. (Or until a trumped up embezzlement charge surfaced anyway). Funny how they all want the west to help out when they are up against it isn't it? NATO's the best we're likely to get.


    More on the anti-Nato protest demonstration that is taking place in Newport. About 500 people marched from the cenotaph in the city centre to the Celtic Manor venue. They were escorted by police.

    Among the anti-Nato campaigners were members of the Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party, Stop the War Coalition and the Red Block, a communist group, who were dressed in black, wearing masks.

    At the summit venue, a delegation of protesters handed a letter and a bouquet of flowers to Nato officials behind the cordon.

    BBC reporters at the scene described the protest as "lively, peaceful and good natured".

    Anti Nato protesters in Newport
    Barry Ewart

    emails: Why not ask Russia to join? Then China, then...Perhaps when we are all in the same club we may have peace. This does not bode well for the trillion dollar global arms trade but perhaps we could use the savings to spend on human beings - toilets for 2.5 billion people would be a good start. Solar panel farms in the world's deserts to harness the free energy of the sun could be next.

    Sara Firth, Arise TV correspondent

    tweets: Spotted what we think's a tiny little drone flitting around at the #NATOSummitUK - no idea who's it is guess security

    Photo of drone at Nato summit
    Peter J

    emails: Russia has lost it's respect and trust in the world. It will take decades to get it back, the cost to it is enormous. What on earth do they think that they are doing.


    emails: Nato has found its reason for existence. The WEST has created the enemy. And nobody cares that Ukraine is carrying on a war against its own people, bombing the cities, killing civilians. Let's do something to stop the war!


    On the ground in northern Iraq, Kurdish peshmerga fighters have been trading fire again with Islamic State militants.

    Kurdish peshmerga fighters seek cover in fire fight with Islamic State militants in northern Iraq, 4 September

    Former Foreign Secretary William Hague, who is the Prime Minister's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, tweets: "Will host a meeting at #NATOSummitUK today on women's participation in ending #sexualviolence and creating sustainable peace #timetoact"

    Anna Danushevskaya-Graham

    emails: Nato is demonstrating that it doesn't want peace in Ukraine. What is the point in criticising Russia who suggested negotiating a ceasefire by Friday? Is it too fast for Nato? Is it leaving Nato out of the question?

    H Edwards in USA

    emails: We need to tell our governments (U.S.A. UK, EU & Nato) to stop worrying about Ukraine and do something to stop ISIS/ISIL because they have made it clear that they want to destroy everyone that does not conform to their way of things/beliefs, and despite what our government here in the U.S.A. says Russia is no longer the big bad cold war communist power house it once was. Simply, we need them.

    William Jones

    emails: there is realistically nothing that Nato or the EU can do to prevent the fragmentation of Ukraine, and if 800,000 of its citizens have fled to Russia, as now stated on the BBC Website, perhaps they fear ethnic cleansing, so let us be wary of jumping in!!


    The rebel leaders in Ukraine have issued a joint statement saying they are ready to cease firing on Friday if the government signs up to a plan to settle the conflict by peaceful means, Russia's Ria Novosti news agency reports.

    Richard in Glasgow, Scotland

    emails: I get frustrated seeing Russian people believing that Ukraine is having an internal war with itself....why don't they realise that their leader Putin is doing the same trick as he did with Crimea and telling continual lies to everyone! I wish Nato would see that he will not support a ceasefire and is buying time to get more men and equipment into Ukraine so he can easily take the East and then also the South....he wants full control of the sea of Azov too so he will need to take Zaporozhe & Kherson regions too soon.


    The prestigious job of taking official photographs at the summit has been given to a 17-year-old from Newport, the South Wales Argus reports.

    Ieuan Berry, whose pictures are featuring on the event's Twitter and Instagram accounts, told the paper it was a "massive stepping stone" for his career.

    Here is one of his shots showing this morning's Afghanistan commemoration.

    Nato summit, Newport
    Lewis Edwards in Newport, Wales

    emails: The ceasefire proposals from Russia were a perfectly timed attempt to blunt the decisiveness of the leaders at the Nato summit. It makes it more difficult to talk about the hard-line response that is necessary to counteract the continuing belligerence when promising overtures are heard from Mr Putin.

    Chris in Ross-on-Wye

    emails: The sad truth is that there are some extremely nasty people in the world and the western democracies have to be able to defend themselves effectively. Anything else would be a dereliction of duty. Some of these demonstrators need to wake up and realise that without the existence of the United States they wouldn't be around as they would probably be amongst the first to be put up against a wall if other types of regimes were to take hold in the west.


    Nato combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of this year, with insurgents undefeated and the future uncertain. A Taliban suicide attack on a government building in Ghazni province today killed at least 10 people. All 19 attackers died, police say.

    A man injured in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, 4 September
    Shattered glass in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, 4 September

    Pippa Bartolotti, the leader of Wales Green Party, has been addressing the protesters outside the summit venue.

    Turning to the leaders inside, she said: "Change direction, stop looking for a military answer and worry about the kind of diplomacy you are engaged in because it is dirty and it is all about geo-political gain and not about building bridges."

    Janusz Kaliszczak in London, UK

    emails: We should stop saying Ukraine is not our problem. We should stop believing in any excuse Russia has and its propaganda. Russians (living in Ukraine) started this war and sneaky help from Russia is the main fuel of this conflict. There is no ethnic cleansing, no human rights threat from Ukrainians. All they do now is fight against their land takeover. Putin has to be stopped. He can see a weak Europe and Nato and goes further, step by step.


    The president of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite, has told the BBC that if Nato members do not address the situation in Ukraine, her own country will be at risk from "Russia's aggression".

    "I think that if Russia is not stopped, or Russia's aggression is not stopped, in Ukraine, then sooner or later we will be facing the aggressor near our borders, absolutely, literally."


    UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (right) has held a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin. The Foreign Office said he offered "UK support in face of Russian aggression".

    Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin

    emails: I agree we should not keep interfering in other peoples countries, but what is happening with Islamic State and Ukraine needs intervention. If we do not these Jihads will carry on their medieval way of life and inflict their ideology on innocent people. Putin will carry on moving into Eastern Europe, which has moved on from the Cold War. Sadly we have to intervene.


    On the prospects of a ceasefire in Ukraine, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics tells the BBC: "I would say I'm optimistic but I am also cautious." Latvia, unlike Ukraine, is a Nato member.


    If you are just joining us, welcome to our live coverage of the historic Nato summit in Newport, Wales. The alliance is grappling with the twin challenges of war in Ukraine and the rise of Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq. Stay with us for news updates, analysis and colour from correspondents, and comments from readers.


    French President Francois Hollande has told reporters that a ceasefire and a political settlement in Ukraine are the conditions for France to deliver the first warship it has built for Russia.

    France had been resisting pressure to halt the delivery, saying it had to respect an existing contract.

    But on Wednesday it said conditions were "not right" for the delivery, of the first of two Mistral navy assault ships.

    The Mistral-class helicopter carrier Vladivostok is seen at the STX Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire, 4 September

    emails: Nato seems to be expanding year by year and that may be okay but at what point do the citizens of the current Nato states start to have a say? At the end of the cold war Nato's original purpose was lost and to continually expand Nato it is becoming more and more likely we could end up with it expanding so much that we have a situation where two Nato countries start to fight each other.


    emails: Stop provoking Russia by military and economic encirclement. Let Russia have part of Eastern Ukraine to provide a corridor to Crimea. Back off, Cameron and Obama. That is what your citizens want - listen to us!


    emails: Nato will not act directly in Ukraine simply because its member nations have too much to lose economically. Putin cannot do too much openly for much the same reasons. It's a game of blink to see who can get away with how much before the other side kicks over the table.

    16:43: BBC Monitoring

    International media reaction and expectations for the Nato summit differ according to which of the issues on the table at the meeting in Wales most concerns them.

    How to counter Russia's interference in Ukraine is the most pressing topic for European commentators, but to Middle East and South Asian writers, the questions of foiling Islamic State militants and "what next in Afghanistan?" are paramount.

    The Russian press, conscious that the West regards Moscow as an aggressor in the events in Ukraine, is defiant. Yelena Chernenko in Kommersant feels Nato has been given a new lease of life. "In effect, the alliance is returning to its former Cold War task, that of containing Moscow," she says.


    emails: Cameron, the whittler of our defence of the realm capability, needs to change course. Those two French helicopter carriers would complement our Navy quite nicely. Germany and Italy need to seriously step up to the plate regarding their contribution to Nato, too long relying on others to keep them safe. Germany could easily afford to be a big player at Nato.


    At a news conference after the first day of talks, Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says "Afghanistan is no longer a safe haven for international terrorists".


    emails: Nato will not go to war over Ukraine as it does not have the right. It does have the right to go to war if Russia touches a Nato state like Estonia, Latvia etc. Obama's speech in Tallinn put the writing on the wall - you can have Ukraine but touch any of these Nato countries and it's war. Basically we're all committed to WWIII if Russia puts one foot inside Estonia.


    Mr Rasmussen also confirms that the Isaf peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan will finish by the end of the year. But he stresses that Nato's "commitment will endure", including training and assisting the Afghan military, depending on Kabul's agreement.

    AndersFogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of Nato

    tweets: We urge the rest of the int'l community to stay engaged & support Afghanistan's future stability. This is in all our interests #NATOsummitUK


    On Ukraine, Mr Rasmussen said any decision to provide military aid to the government in Kiev would be taken by individual Nato member-states - not the alliance as a whole. He was speaking before a meeting of the Ukraine-Nato commission.


    The Nato chief again urged Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine and end the annexation of the southern Crimea peninsula. Following the brief opening statement, the summit continued its work behind closed doors.

    Pat in Southport, Florida, USA

    emails: Has Nato failed? It was designed before the cold war, with a different agenda, to stop the cold war. But today, it seems Mr. Putin has stated that he did everything legally by Nato. I'm assuming, to take the Ukraine back into Russian territory. But if he didn't go though Nato that means Russia has broken Nato laws and ordinances. As for the mid-east, ISIS and all the other groups part of ISIS, why are you responding so slowly? Thousands of people are hurting, displaced and homeless! ISIS wants to destroy everyone - Christians, Jews and anyone else not ISIS! Please, wake up!

    Henry in Oxford, UK

    emails: Nato is trying to strangle Russia, in a way that would never be accepted in reverse and which is now simply pushing a proud and historically firmly nationalist state towards increasingly combative stances and actions. Nato can afford to back off a bit, and should do so in the interest of balance and security.


    In Ukraine, fighting continued near the strategic south-eastern port of Mariupol. The commander of Ukraine's Azov battalion, Andriy Biletskyi, was quoted as saying that an outer checkpoint was destroyed by the pro-Russian rebels.


    In Britain, government sources say fresh sanctions will be announced on Friday against Russia, the BBC's Norman Smith reports. The measures include further restrictions on the banking, energy and defence sectors. More so-called "Putin cronies" will have travel bans placed on them.

    Phil in Cheshire

    emails: If I'm not mistaken, Nato was formed as a result of WWII to ensure the peace and security of Europe in the future, and as a deterrent to a future WW. When people suggest "No2Nato" they should consider everything that the millions of grandparents and great grandparents had to go through to ensure our freedom in a time when no such alliance was in existence. I believe it is a result of the likes of the Nato alliance that the majority of Europe has enjoyed the longest stint of peace time existence to date.

    Alex in London, UK

    emails: countries join Nato not to fight but to get security and live in peace. That's why Ukraine would want to join Nato now, following the betrayal by its powerful and authoritarian neighbour.

    A Ukrainian army guards by a road sign reading "Mariupol" Ukraine soldiers were seen manning checkpoints around Mariupol

    Speaking earlier on Thursday, French President Francois Hollande said further EU sanctions on Russia on Friday would depend on what progress was made towards peace in Ukraine in "the coming hours". Ukrainian leaders and pro-Russia rebels are due to meet in Belarus on Friday.


    Back to the situation around Mariupol (see 17:18 entry). Ukraine's military says clashes took place east of Mariupol in Shyrokyne. It says two rebel tanks and a vehicle were destroyed.

    Steve in London, UK

    emails: To the people saying back off Ukraine is not our problem. Wake up... it is our problem. If you were in their shoes and facing a major world power who was intent on breaking your country up, you'd want help and the reassurance from fellow countries to safeguard your security. This attitude is what is wrong in this world. Maybe if you lose your job, apply for social we as a society should say "sorry its not our problem" and let you survive with no money or if your house gets burgled the police should say "sorry its not our problem" they didn't burgle us!!

    Carl Bildt, Swedish Foreign Minister

    tweets: Talk of ceasefire in Ukraine. Would be welcome. To be serious should incl withdrawal of Russian forces and Ukraine controlling its border.


    Russian forces deployed near Ukraine's eastern border are "more lethal" than before, Pentagon spokesman Col Steven Warren is quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. He adds there are more than 10,000 Russian soldiers near the border.


    Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House, the international affairs think-tank, says Nato needs to take back the political initiative from Russia.

    He told the FT that President Putin "will see each and every weakness in Europe as an opportunity to prevent a consolidation" of the alliance.

    Fraser Huskinson in Poole, UK

    emails: The UK should be doing all it can to encourage other members to bolster Nato, despite their financial woes. Although ISIS is a growing threat, there is a far greater evil dwelling much nearer to our borders, and thanks to the cuts to the armed forces we are ill-equipped to effectively defend ourselves in the case of sudden aggression.

    Ayrton S

    emails: Look at Obama in that picture. The US is the only country to have launched countless missile strikes and invasions in foreign lands since the first Iraq war in 1990. US meddling and illegal coups has also caused hundred of thousands of deaths. Yet we are all meant to be dictated to by this nation, and their war monger leader Obama. Noble Peace prize winner, don't forget...

    Patrick in the USA

    emails: This is not Al-Qaeda anymore. ISIS is not just another terrorist group, they are becoming their own country. They are stable, they know what they are doing. People need our help, Nato's help, and we are just sitting around. We need to get back, to help save innocent lives. ISIS is a group that does not belong in our world. Please world, wake up and fight back.

    Tom in Hexham, UK

    emails: We have a special relationship with America yet they drop bombs as we sit back. Come on Cameron, we have bases in Cyprus.


    President Poroshenko met US Secretary of State John Kerry on the sidelines of the Nato summit.

    Mr Poroshenko thanked Mr Kerry for the "strong support" the US has shown Ukraine, according to a statement on his website.

    Mr Kerry said that the US hopes "that Russian troops will abandon Ukraine."

    US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko - 4 September 2014

    A White House official has confirmed that the US is preparing fresh sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, which are expected to be announced on Friday.

    "We work on this in co-ordination with the Europeans," Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said on Thursday, adding: "If Russia escalates [its actions in Ukraine], we are prepared to escalate our pressure."

    Mike in Burlington, Canada

    emails: Now I hope to shed some light on this for all of you thinking we (the west) should stay out of the conflict. The same thing happened before WWII and it is one of the most vile memories that everyone consciously forgets. The USSR land grabbed with the Germans in Poland, does that not say something? Our history matters and anyone who says "Not our fight" needs to give their head a shake and apologize to all the true warriors who stood up and said "No, we will not stand for this". Please remember this, while we talk and posture people are dying. While you say it's none of our business people die, it all matters in the end and I don't want to be a part of a generation that betrays our grandfathers' valour and courage to fight for someone else.

    The Prince of Wales during a visit to HMS Duncan in Cardiff - 4 September 2014

    The Prince of Wales has been visiting the Royal Navy's new destroyer HMS Duncan in Cardiff, ahead of hosting a reception at the Nato summit in Newport later this evening. You can see more pictures of his visit here.

    Protesters march towards Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales - 4 September 2014

    Newport has seen further demonstrations against the Nato summit being held in the Welsh city today, with around 250 people taking to the streets.

    The number of protesters is low compared to earlier predictions of many thousands descending on the city.


    Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of Nato, is now holding a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

    "Russia is now fighting against Ukraine in Ukraine," Mr Rasmussen says. "Russian troops and Russian tanks are attacking Ukrainian forces. Instead of de-escalating the crisis, Russia has only deepened it."


    "Europe must not turn away from the rule of law to the rule of the strongest," the Nato chief adds.


    Mr Rasmussen says "Ukraine has stood by Nato. Now in these difficult times, Nato stands by Ukraine."


    Mr Poroshenko says he is "really glad" with the "substantial discussions" on Ukraine held at the Nato summit. He says he has never felt so much support from Nato leaders.

    Russ in Dublin, Ireland

    emails: Very sad to see that Nato has taken the approach of more hardware and manpower to be deployed so close to borders of a country lead by a man who to this day has stayed a step ahead of them. If the game of who blinks first begins it would not matter who wins, Europe as a continent would be the loser.


    Mr Poroshenko thanks Nato for the "concrete" help it has given Ukraine. "A friend in need is a friend indeed," the president tells reporters in Wales.


    The Ukrainian leaders says Russia has "brutally undermined" his country's stability.


    "It is for the Ukrainian people to decide how to develop Ukraine's future relationship with Nato," Mr Rasmussen says.


    "I don't think anyone would like war or armed conflict to solve this issue," the Nato chief says, reiterating his calls for a political solution to the crisis in Ukraine.

    If Russia intervenes further in Ukraine, the international community must respond with sanctions, says the Nato chief.


    Mr Poroshenko says Ukraine is fighting for peace after becoming "an object of aggression".

    He says he is doing his best to stop the war and is optimistic about Ukrainian talks with Russian envoys and representatives of pro-Russian rebels in Minsk on Friday.


    I would welcome President Putin seeking a peace deal in Ukraine, Mr Rasmussen says, but he adds that based on his experience of "Russian smokescreens" he is cautious about progress from any peace talks.


    And with that the two leaders disappear off the stage in Newport.


    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has given her support to further sanctions on Russia. She said: "We're prepared to lend weight to our political demands with further sanctions," according to Reuters news agency.


    That joint press conference between President Poroshenko and Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen is the last scheduled public event of the day.

    Nato leaders are now off to Cardiff Castle for tonight's feast in the banqueting hall.

    A general view of Cardiff Castle - 26 August 2014

    And this brings to a close our live coverage of the first day of the Nato summit. Latest updates can always be found at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news


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