Hundreds of thousands of NATO troops will be put on a higher state of alert amid growing tensions with Russia, the head of the alliance has indicated. This was announced by the alliance’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg in his interview to The Times.
“We have seen Russia being much more active in many different ways,” Mr Stoltenberg, a former prime minister of Norway, told The Times.
“We have also seen Russia using propaganda in Europe among NATO allies and that is exactly the reason why NATO is responding. We are responding with the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War.”
Specifically, 4,000 NATO troops to be deployed in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland from next year, an emergency response force of 5,000 ground troops was created, backed by air, sea and special forces, which is able to mobilise within five days. The 28 member states agreed to triple the size of an incumbent response force to 40,000 troops. They can be moved in quickly as reinforcements after the initial wave. Mr Stoltenberg also said that NATO was now looking at improving the readiness of many of the alliance’s three million soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.
Jens Stoltenberg said that it was important for NATO and Russia to keep communicating. Recent spats between the USA and Russian Federation over a cease-fire in Syria, have further complicated Russian Federation and NATO's relationship.