NATO to deploy small units in Eastern Europe
NATO defence ministers are expected to agree to set up command units, staffed with national and NATO soldiers, in six eastern European allies as part of a new strategy in response to the Ukraine crisis, NATO’s chief said on Friday.
Creating the units in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and the three Baltic countries is one of the most concrete steps NATO has taken to show that the alliance will protect its eastern allies, some of which are nervous about Russian intentions following Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.
Jens Stoltenberg said the units in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania will be the first of their kind there.
Defense ministers from the 28-nation military alliance will discuss the full force, which can react quickly to any hotspots in Europe, when they meet on 5 February.
Stoltenberg said countries responsible for providing the several thousand troops to the force should be known next week.
The forward units will comprise a few dozen personnel only. They will plan and organize military exercises, and provide command and control for any reinforcements the force might require.