NATO to enhance presence in east Europe

135089030_14551461482751nBRUSSELS, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) — NATO defense Ministers on Wednesday agreed to enhance military presence in eastern Europe at a ministerial meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference following the first day’s meeting.

Stoltenberg stated that this multinational enhanced forward presence “will be rotational and supported by a program of exercises, and it will be complemented by the necessary logistics and infrastructure to support pre-positioning and facilitate rapid reinforcement.”

“Our military planners will provide the advice on the size and composition of our enhanced presence this spring,” he added.

The NATO chief welcomed the announcement made by many Allies on how they would contribute and pointed out that further decisions will be taken at the Warsaw Summit in July.

NATO has increased its presence in the eastern part of the Alliance in light of the Ukraine crisis. “We have tripled the size of the NATO Response Force to more than 40,000 troops, with the new Spearhead Force at its core. And we have activated six small headquarters in our eastern Allies, and are setting up two more,” Stoltenberg highlighted.

Taking steps toward reinforcing the alliance’s collective defense and deterrence is the main topic at the meeting of defense ministers.

“Effective deterrence and defense requires both forward presence of Allied forces, and our ability to reinforce them quickly, if needed,” Stoltenberg has said ahead of the meeting.

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