NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen opened a crucial summit meeting Thursday by accusing Russia of "attacking" neighboring Ukraine.
He also said the Western alliance would seriously consider requests for help from the Iraqi government against the terrorist group Islamic State.
"I'm sure that if the Iraqi government were to forward a request for NATO assistance, that would be considered seriously by NATO allies," Rasmussen said.
Later, the White House said NATO leaders agreed that Russia should faced increased sanctions for its actions in eastern Ukraine. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi sat down with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko on the fringes of the summit.
"The leaders reiterated their condemnation of Russia's continued flagrant vioaltion of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and agreed on the need for Russia to face increased costs for its actions,'' a White House statement said.
The gathering of NATO leaders in Wales is taking place at the most alarming time for geopolitics since the Cold War.