Russia responds, NATO will deploy 300,000 military troops

Russia responds, NATO will deploy 300,000 military troops

 NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he would approve a plan to have a full 300,000 troops ready in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The decision to put hundreds of thousands of NATO troops on high alert will be approved at this week's Madrid summit. Jens Stoltenberg said NATO troops in the Baltic states and five other frontline states would be increased "to brigade level", doubling or tripling, to between 3,000 and 5,000 troops. "(This will be) the biggest overhaul of our collective defense and deterrence since the cold war," Stoltenberg said ahead of the Madrid summit. 

The high-level meeting by the 30-member military alliance will take place from Tuesday to Thursday this week. Reported by The Guardian, the NATO Response Force (NRF) currently numbers up to 40,000 personnel and changes will be made due to the threat of a Russian attack. Under the plan, NATO will also move ammunition and other supplies further east. NATO maintains eight battle groups across eastern Europe, which are intended as initial frontline defenses in the event of a Russian invasion. Four in the Baltic states and Poland, and this was complemented by the formation of four more in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia after the attack on Ukraine. 

Germany said this month it would donate a troop brigade to defend Lithuania. Stoltenberg expects other NATO members to make similar announcements in defense of the countries for which they are responsible. Britain contributes about 1,700 troops to the multinational fighting group it leads in Estonia. Two weeks ago, Defense Minister Ben Wallace said he would send hundreds more troops to support Estonia. But Stoltenberg says there won't be a one-size-fits-all model, pointing out that not every battle group will be scaled up to full brigade size.
Canada, which led the battle group in Latvia, contributed 700 troops, while the US was in charge of Poland. NATO released figures showing that defense spending among its 30 members is expected to increase by 1.2 percent in real terms by 2022. 

This is the slowest growth rate in eight consecutive years of growth. The Norwegian Secretary General could not make any promises about the progress of Sweden and Finland's application to join NATO. This is because Turkey has objected to it. Stoltenberg said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is willing to meet Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in Madrid on Tuesday (28/6/2022). This effort was made to resolve Turkey's demands to the two Nordic countries. But he does not believe there will be a breakthrough at the meeting on the sidelines of the NATO event.

 "It's too early to say what kind of progress you can make with the summit," Stoltenberg told a news conference. Turkey has threatened to block Sweden and Finland's applications, unless it receives assurances that the two Nordic countries are willing to tackle the terrorist groups hiding there. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is scheduled to address the NATO summit on Wednesday morning. 

He will discuss further weapons requests from Western countries. Stoltenberg said NATO would agree on a "strengthened and comprehensive aid package" for Kyiv. But NATO itself will only offer non-lethal weapons assistance so that the alliance is not dragged directly into a conflict with Russia. On the other hand, the supply of sophisticated weapons is actually provided by its members.

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