German chancellor Angela Merkel visited military exercises by a unit of NATO's rapid reaction forces based near the city of Munster on Monday. Footage shows military aircraft, tanks, armoured vehicles and infantry taking part in the drill.

Germany has been leading the NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) since January 1 providing thousands of soldiers to be on standby or deployed within days. The 8,000-strong was created in response to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

"Today is the day that the new Ukrainian President is being sworn in, he's made it one of his central tasks to seek an end to the war in his areas. They know that we are working politically through the Minsk Process with our French partners to try and help Ukraine", said Merkel after the drill.

Merkel also said that the conflict in Ukraine made the defence of NATO's territory a priority and promised to stick to her plan of raising Germany's defence spending.

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