Pointing to Europe’s “new normal” in the face of Russian military provocations, the NATO Secretary-General on Wednesday said the alliance was planning new combat units in the center and southeastern Europe, while Britain says it is doubling in size. NATO deployment in Estonia.
The secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said: “We don’t know what will happen in Ukraine. “But the situation has proven that we are facing a European security crisis. Moscow has made it clear that it is ready to go against the fundamental principles that have underpinned our security for decades and to do so by the use of force. I regret to say that this is the new normal in Europe. ”
NATO defense ministers have directed military commanders to plan new combat units to increase the alliance’s military presence in member states near Russia and Belarus, Stoltenberg said. and Ukraine.
The ministers “decided to develop options to further strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defense capabilities, including by considering the creation of new NATO combat groups in central and eastern and southeastern Europe.” Europe,” Stoltenberg said at a press conference.
Small fighting groups could be formed in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia, in addition to those already established on a rotating basis in Poland and the three Baltic states after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. .
Mr. Stoltenberg said that France had offered to set up a multinational fighting group in Romania.
Separately, on Wednesday, Britain said it would send more equipment, including tanks and armored fighting vehicles, to Estonia. Britain was already the leader in the multinational battalions there, with about 900 men.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Together with our NATO allies, we are deploying troops and assets on land, at sea and in the air to strengthen Europe’s defenses to aim deal with the buildup of Russian military forces on the Ukrainian border”. .
A combat group, consisting of armored vehicles and personnel, will leave bases in Germany and Britain and begin arriving in Estonia next week, the statement said. It also said Apache helicopters will soon be preparing for exercises with partners in Eastern Europe.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/16/world/europe/nato-plans-to-shift-forces-to-counter-moscows-troop-buildup-around-ukraine.html NATO plans to move forces to counter Moscow’s buildup around Ukraine.