NATO leaders at the summit taking place in Warsaw July 8 and 9 officially confirmed the deployment of four international battalions in along the alliance’s eastern flank, including in Poland, to counter a potential Russian threat to the region, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday afternoon.
The battalions will be „robust,” multinational and deployed next year on a rotational basis, Stoltenberg said.
NATO needs to prove that it is a living, strong and reliable alliance, and to do it must considerably strengthen its defensive and deterring capability, President Andrzej Duda said at the opening of a Warsaw Summit Experts’ Forum accompanying the NATO summit.
According to Duda, the biggest threat to the security of the NATO members were not countries or nations, but „a policy of force which ignores the norms of international law, and even such basic norms as the right to territorial integrity or sovereignty”.
According to the alliance’s plan, the United States will lead the battalion in Poland, Germany will be in charge of the one in Lithuania, Great Britain will be responsible for the battalion in Estonia and Canada will lead in Latvia.
Poland and Baltic states will not only see four battalions composed of 1,000 soldiers each as a strengthening of NATO’s eastern flank, but also an increase of rapid response forces and an improvement of decision making process, NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg told the daily Gazeta Wyborcza. Stoltenberg added that NATO is focused on repellence and not on provoking a conflict and the presence of its forces are a signal that an attack on one NATO member will be an attack on the whole alliance that will not be left without response.