9, July 2016
NATO leaders have agreed to deploy thousands of troops in Poland and the Baltic states in a bid to strengthen the 28-nation alliance’s eastern borders in Europe against Russia. The Western military alliance announced on Friday that it will move four battalions totaling up to 4,000 troops to northeastern Europe on a rotating basis to display its readiness to support Eastern European member states against the so-called Russian aggression.
“These battalions will be robust and they will be multinational. They make clear that an attack on one ally will be considered an attack on the whole alliance,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a press conference after the first working session of a two-day summit in the Polish capital Warsaw on Friday.
Stoltenberg said the plan is justified under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which states that if an “armed attack against one or more” NATO member states is launched “in Europe or North America,” it “shall be considered an attack against them all,” and all members will have to take the necessary actions to assist the invaded ally.
The UK will send 500 troops for a battalion based in Estonia, while Germany and Canada will lead two more battalions in Lithuania and Latvia, respectively. US President Barack Obama said at the summit that under the plan, his country would deploy an armored brigade of 1,000 troopers as the fourth battalion in Poland next year “to enhance our forward presence in Central and Eastern Europe.”
“In other words, Poland will be seeing an increase in NATO and American personnel and in the most modern military equipment,” Obama said.