Twelve NATO countries are deploying a total of around 4,600 troops to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and all four battle groups are due to be up and running within two weeks.
NATO says it is aimed at countering aggression by Russia, which annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
In 2014, NATO members reaffirmed their commitment to spend 2 percent of their economic output on defense and 20 percent of that amount “on major new equipment, including related research and development.” , AFF reports.
“The danger lies in the fact that [NATO] is expected to increase not only the spending but also significantly increase the purchase of arms,” Grushko noted. “If these plans will be implemented, we may find ourselves in the situation of a Cold War, when the military planning, aimed at countering a ‘large enemy’ would generate respective policies.”
Right now, the envoy warned, NATO is in danger of being stuck in a “vicious circle” of an arms buildup “from which it will be very difficult to get out.”
Russia’s envoy to NATO says Moscow is concerned by the alliance’s military deployment in the Baltic states and Poland and will respond to the buildup.
Ambassador Alexander Grushko said Thursday that “NATO is building a new military security situation that we cannot ignore, that we should address using our own military instruments.”
Moscow will take “all necessary measures” to protect its national interests in the Black Sea, Russia’s envoy to NATO has said, warning the alliance risks ushering in a vicious new Cold War with its significant spending and military build up in the region.
The U.S. military will increase its ability to observe Russian troop movements near the Baltic states during a large military exercise planned by Moscow this summer, U.S. defense officials said.
The United States will put ships in the Baltic Sea and take over the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s air policing in the region ahead of the exercises in August and September, said the two officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military maneuvers.