UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Despite numerous requests from the Baltic countries, NATO has not yet planned to build up its military presence in the region, reports The Baltic Times. This became known from the speech of the Secretary General of the alliance Jens Stoltenberg, who noted that now it is necessary to develop the ability of NATO to rapidly strengthen, if necessary.
NATO does not plan to build up its military presence in the Baltic countries, calling on the alliance to provide them with additional protection from Russia, writes The Baltic Times. This was reported by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“Now we do not plan to increase our military presence in the region, but what we plan is to strengthen our ability to strengthen if necessary,” Stoltenberg told reporters after talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
As the publication reminds, the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – “the three Baltic countries that spent half a century under the Soviet occupation after World War II” – hope for additional US assistance to prevent any actions by Russia in their respect.
Last year, NATO deployed four multinational units in Poland and the Baltic States, and the United States sent a Patriot system to Lithuania to conduct exercises, the article said.
According to Stoltenberg, “if there is a need, we must have ready forces, which can be used very quickly . ” He also noted that this issue will be discussed at the next NATO summit, which will be held in Brussels in July.
Although after independence, the Baltic countries joined the EU and NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin has never made secrets from what, in fact, considers the former Soviet republics to be part of Moscow’s zone of influence, emphasizes The Baltic Times.