NATO will deploy four battalions "robust" in the three Baltic countries and Poland, in response to the actions of Russia in Ukraine, announced on Monday, the secretary general of NATO. A decision must be confirmed by the EU.
The presence of the Atlantic Alliance in the Baltic countries and Poland will soon be strengthened. The head of the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, announced Monday, June 13 that the defense ministers of the member countries would approve the deployment of four battalions "robust" in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, in response to actions of Russia in Ukraine.
"This will send a clear signal that NATO is ready to defend all allies" in case of external aggression, said Monday Jens Stoltenberg, at a meeting of defense ministers of the Alliance in Brussels.
The decision to send troops to the eastern borders of the Atlantic Alliance, perceived by Moscow as a gesture of defiance, Tuesday, June 14 will be confirmed by the 28 defense ministers, even if all the details of "the size, the extent and composition "of these battalions will then be refined.
NATO said that the battalions will work in rotation in the four countries rather than being based permanently. "We will deploy upstream of combat forces" and "each battalion is 800 thousand soldiers" who will be stationed by rotation for a period of "six to nine months," said the Ambassador of the United States to the NATO Douglas Lute.
A response to Russia's actions in Crimea and Ukraine
This deployment complements a series of measures taken since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis in spring 2014, to increase the reactivity of the Allied armies and support member NATO countries sharing a border with Russia.
"There can be no doubt that what we have is a response to Russia's actions in Crimea [annexed in March 2014, Ed] and Ukraine," where Westerners accuse Moscow of supporting separatist rebels , said Jens Stoltenberg.
"Before that he was no talk of a military presence of the kind we have now" in the Baltic countries and in Poland, he argued at a press conference. "Our defense and our deterrence does not rely only on four battalions. They are part of a much more profound change in our posture in response to the challenges we face," stressed the head of NATO.
Summit meeting in Warsaw on 8 and 9 July, the Heads of State and Government of the Alliance should reaffirm the deployment of these troops, and unveil all the operational details.