NATO to deploy rapid response forces to the Baltics in May
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will deploy a new group of rapid response forces to the Baltic region in May 2017. The Chairman of the NATO Military Committee and Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Army, Petr Pavel, stated that some divisions will come to the site earlier than the main group. The statement was made following the results of the NATO Committee meeting in Split, Croatia, the Wall Street Journal notes.
There, the military leadership of the Alliance discussed the terms and rules of deployment of 4,000 servicemen in Poland and the Baltic States. The decision to deploy four additional multinational battalions in the region to deter Russia was taken at the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Canada will deploy soldiers to Latvia, Germany – to Lithuania, the United Kingdom – to Estonia, and the United States – to Poland.
The soldiers of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment of the United States, stationed at the base in Vilseck (Germany), will form the contingent of U.S. servicemen in Poland. Their arrival is expected in April. “In discussing these four combat groups, we did not limit their presence to training purposes only,” the Wall Street Journal quoted Petr Pavel as saying.
Earlier, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to NATO, Alexander Grushko, stated that NATO’s decision to deploy additional forces in the Baltic States turns the countries of Eastern Europe into bridgeheads for military deployments. In response to these actions, Moscow stated that it isn’t interested in increasing tensions with the West but it is ready to respond to threats to its national security.