NATO to Set up 10,000-Strong Force in Response to Ukraine Crisis

World | August 30, 2014, Saturday // 12:20| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: NATO to Set up 10,000-Strong Force in Response to Ukraine Crisis NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen gives a press briefing at the end of a special meeting of NATO ambassadors on the Ukraine crisis, at the Alliance`s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 29 August 2014. Photo EPA/BGNES

Seven NATO members will create a British-led joint expeditionary force for rapid deployment in response to the crisis in Ukraine, the Financial Times has reported.

The force of at least 10,000 military personnel aims “to create a fully functioning, division-sized force for rapid deployment and regular, frequent exercises” with a capacity  to increase significantly in size if need be, the FT said on its website.

The new multilateral force under British command will comprise naval and air units and ground forces. Currently, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and the three Baltic states – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are involved with Canada having also expressed interest to join.

The news came just days after NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that the Western military alliance plans to deploy its forces at new bases in eastern Europe in response to the crisis in Ukraine and address a new Russian military approach.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who will be hosting the NATO summit in Wales next week, is expected to announce the creation of the new force, to me modelled after Britain’s joint expeditionary force with France which should be fully operational by 2016, the FT said.

According to an unnamed senior military officer involved in planning the new force, the alliance has opted for the creation of “more flexible, rapid reaction forces” that will “probably involve regular significant exercises in Europe and elsewhere” as agreements with Moscow ban permament deployment of NATO troops in Eastern Europe.

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