Three former senior NATO Generals have warned that NATO needs to do more to defend the Baltic.
As reported by BFBS, they say in a recent report that the three countries in the Baltic, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, will eventually need a brigade each to deter Russia, far bigger than the battalions currently being proposed.
In an interview with Bild on Thursday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Russia is seeking to create “a zone of influence through military means”.
“We are observing massive militarisation at NATO borders — in the Arctic, in the Baltic, from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea,” he told the newspaper.
Some have voiced concerns about escalating tensions including Germany’s defence minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who says:
“What we should avoid today is inflaming the situation by warmongering and stomping boots. Anyone who thinks you can increase security in the alliance with symbolic parades of tanks near the eastern borders is mistaken.”
Stoltenberg has stressed that NATO does not seek confrontation with Russia and wants a constructive dialogue but that it would defend the 28 allies against any threat.
NATO is todeploy four battalions to Poland and the Baltic states as part of a push back against Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, alliance head Jens Stoltenberg said.
“We will agree to deploy by rotation four robust, multinational battalions in the Baltic states and Poland. This will send a clear signal that NATO stands ready to defend any ally.”
Russia’s annexation of the Crimea in 2014 and its support for ethnic Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine has made Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia increasingly anxious about their own security.
Asked about the possibility of an Russian attack, Lithuania’s Defence Minister Juozas Olekas told Reuters:
“We cannot exclude it. They might exercise on the borders and then switch to invasion in hours.”
NATO already operates a Baltic air-policing mission, this takes the form of air defence ‘Quick Reaction Alert’ in order to guard the airspace over the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.