UK sends 1,000 troops to Baltic countries in response to threat from Russia

9 february 2015 | 13:05

London tries to reassure allies anxious because of Russian aggressiveness

The unit can reach 5,000 soldiers
Britain has confirmed its intention to form a rapid response unit composed of 1,000 soldiers who are to be deployed in the Baltic States in response to the growing threat from Russia.

The number can grow to 5,000 in 5 days during the military confrontation, reports Radio Liberty.

British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, who attended the meeting of Defense Ministers of NATO member states in Brussels, says that it is extremely important today to make it clear to the Kremlin that NATO is strongly tuned to provide protection to all members of the alliance against the threat from any direction.

Read more: NATO creates focal point in Bulgaria

The first group of the British troops in the Baltic countries will become a backbone of the future rapid response unit, which will begin to act in 2017.

"I am pleased to announce that the United Kingdom will send 1,000 soldiers to the Baltic countries, which, in turn, will be the beginning of a Strategic Response Unit formation to be active since 2017. We also send our experts to help local military in two NATO regional headquarters in northern and south-eastern Europe, "- announced the British defense minister.

Britain also sends 4 "Typhoon" Royal Air Force jet fighters to the Baltic States. This will be the largest NATO collective security's enhancement since the end of the Cold War era.

"The credibility to NATO in this situation depends on all members who played a role in the enforcement, which was made in light of the threat coming from Moscow. It is clear that the epicenter of this threat now is located in southeastern Ukraine. The British government has repeatedly confirmed that it is at the forefront of opposition to the Kremlin and bringing Russia to justice for Crimea's annexation and further support for separatists in Ukraine," – commented the political analyst from the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies, Michael Chamoli.

Read more: NATO creates focal point in Bulgaria

On February 5, NATO Defense Ministers agreed in Brussels on the composition and size of the rapid reaction force and instant response "Spearhead Force." It is planned that the first will be composed of 30,000 military, the second – of 5,000. The leading land brigade will be ready to move out within 48 hours. The rest of the NATO military – within a week.

Source: Radio Svoboda

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