Friday, May 15, 2015

NATO To Consider Permanent Brigade in Baltics

NATO leaders will soon review a request by Baltic nations for a permanent allied ground force presence in the region to forestall Russian aggression, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.

Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are expected to make a formal request this week for a brigade-size multinational force to be spread out across the Baltics as part of an effort to increase NATO capabilities along the alliance’s border with Russia.

“When we receive the letter we will go carefully through that letter and discuss the various proposals,” Stoltenberg said at the conclusion of a foreign ministers’ meeting in Antalya, Turkey.

He did not indicate whether he would favor such a request, which is likely be a source of disagreement among allies, some of which are concerned that efforts to reassure countries in eastern Europe could exacerbate tensions with Moscow.

Instead, Stoltenberg emphasized that NATO was already in the midst of its most substantial reinforcement since the end of the Cold War, with preparations to double its quick-reaction force to 30,000 troops.

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