On Wednesday, the Defense Ministers of NATO member states agreed on the need to station more troops in Eastern Europe in order to deter Russia’s aggressive foreign policy. The matter will be discussed in depth during a meeting of the allies in Warsaw this summer.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the specifics of the future Eastern European contingent have not yet been determined. The Alliance is especially concerned with “hybrid threats”, and according to Stoltenberg, the decision to expand NATO forces in the region "will send a clear signal to any potential aggressor." He added that an attack on any member state will be regarded as aggression against all members of the Alliance.
NATO plans to send troops to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, as well as Poland, Bulgaria and Romania. The Alliance currently has a minimal presence in these states, and according to preliminary data, an additional 1,000 servicemen will be sent to each country.
In addition, NATO will continue to build up its military presence in the Black Sea region. According to Stoltenberg, this refers to "naval forces, as well as reconnaissance and facilities for the transfer of reinforcements." More regular aerial surveillance using AWACS aircraft is also planned, and the air bases will be located in Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. With this, Stoltenberg noted the active cooperation with Georgia on security issues in the Black Sea region.