NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg
Brussels, October 26 (RHC)-- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is pushing for its biggest military buildup near Russian borders, as the Western military alliance continues to harbor perceptions of a Russian “threat” since the days of the Cold War.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is discussing the plan for military deployments to the Baltic states and eastern Poland at a two-day meeting of NATO ministers in Brussels beginning on Wednesday.
The military alliance aims to send “battle groups” to the Baltic states and Poland early next year. The groups will consist of 40,000 forces. It will be the biggest military buildup near Russia since the Second World War. More forces would also be deployed if necessary.
The United States, Germany, Britain, and Canada have already agreed to contribute forces to the “battle groups,” which are to be deployed to Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. France, Denmark, Italy and other NATO members are expected to contribute forces of their own but have been reluctant so far.
Russia had previously warned that it would take unspecified measures to respond to the increased activities by the Western military bloc. It also moved nuclear-capable missiles to its westernmost region of Kaliningrad, near its border with the Baltic countries and NATO member states earlier this month. The Iskander-M cruise missiles are capable of hitting targets across Poland and the Baltics.
NATO was formed during the Cold War as a means of countering the former Soviet Union. The military alliance suspended all ties with Moscow in April 2014, after the then-Ukrainian Crimea Peninsula voted in a referendum to join Russian territory.
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