NATO is expected to station additional soldiers in six member states in Eastern Europe as part of its new anti-Russian strategy. The units would be small, but involved in possible deployment of the alliance’s future ‘rapid response’ force.
The additional NATO troops would be posted to the three Baltic states, Romania, Bulgaria and Poland, NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday.
Each unit would consist of 40 to 50 troops comprised in roughly equal parts of soldiers from the host nation and those from other NATO members Reuters reported, citing an alliance diplomat.
The units would be involved in organizing NATO exercises in corresponding countries. They will also perform command and control functions for the future European NATO force, which is to be created over the year. The force, according to the alliance, would respond to a crisis situation within two days, with the assumption that it would counter an attack from Russia.
"It is completely within all our international obligations and what we are doing is defensive and it is proportionate," Stoltenberg said, explaining why Moscow shouldn’t see the deployment as provocative.
The force is expected to be officially presented after defense ministers form the 28-member military bloc been on Thursday next week. The ministers would decide on which countries would provide the several thousand troops for the force.