Stoltenberg: NATO to boost military presence in the east
The Baltic Course reports.
Addressing an online press conference after the first day of the two-day defence minister’s meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the new NATO Space Center in Germany will “help to coordinate Allied space activities; support NATO missions and operations from space, including with communications and satellite imagery; and protect Allied space systems by sharing information about potential threats.”
He also said NATO defence ministers had addressed Russia’s growing arsenal of nuclear-capable missiles and said the “challenge is serious, and growing in scale and complexity.”
Jens Stoltenberg also confirmed plans to increase Alliance’s military presence on its Eastern flank.
“During the negotiations, it was decided to increase the NATO military contingent in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. In 2021 the Alliance will more than double its forces in these countries. In addition, in the next few years the U.S. short- and medium-range ballistic missiles will be deployed in Poland. It is also planned to deploy an additional NATO air component with F-35 multi-role fighters on a permanent basis in Lithuania,” said Jens Stoltenberg at the end of the meeting.
“There are currently plans to create NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Ukraine in 2021-2022 which will be deployed in the north of the country. An agreement in principle on this issue has been reached with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy. It has been decided that the command of the multinational NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup will be executed by the representatives of the British Armed Forces, and the composition of the Battlegroup is being specified,” added Secretary General.
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