Nato to deploy 4 new battalions to eastern flank amid Russian invasion
Brussels, Mar 23 (EFE).- Nato will support the deployment of four new multinational battalions to Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the organization’s secretary-general said Wednesday on the eve of an extraordinary summit.
“I expect leaders will agree to strengthen Nato’s posture in all domains. With major increases to our forces in the eastern part of the Alliance. On land, in the air, and at sea,” Jens Stoltenberg told a press conference.
“The first step is the deployment of four new Nato battlegroups. In Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia,” he added.
This brings the total number of the Nato battalions deployed in the region to eight, he said.
The heads of state and government of Nato’s 30 member states will meet in Brussels to assess the response to the Russian invasion. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy will join via videolink.
The battalions, made up of a combo of multinational and national troops, will be deployed as long as needed in response to the Russian threat, which prompted the alliance to beef up its military readiness, Stoltenberg added.
The number of US troops deployed in Europe has been raised to 100,000, many of them in the eastern part of the alliance, and 40,000 military personnel are under its direct command, he said.
“I also expect we will agree to step up tailored support for other partners at risk from Russian pressure, including Georgia and Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he added.
Stoltenberg pointed out that China has supported Russia “including by spreading blatant lies and disinformation.”
“And Allies are concerned that China could provide material support for the Russian invasion,” he said. “I expect leaders will call on China to live up to its responsibilities as a member of the United Nations Security Council.” EFE