NATO Leaders Agree to Deploy Four Battalions to Poland, Baltic States
At the summit taking place in Warsaw on Friday and Saturday, the heads of state or government of the 28 member countries of the Alliance agreed to deploy more forces and enhance NATO's military presence in the east.
This will be achieved by the deployment of four battalions in Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia on a rotational basis starting from next year.
At the first working session on Friday, the leaders agreed to bolster the collective deterrence and defence capabilities of the Alliance.
They decided that Canada will lead the battalion in Latvia, Germany will be in charge of the one in Lithuania, the UK will be responsible for the battalion in Estonia and the USA will lead in Poland.
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commended allies for announcing contributions to the battalions and thanked the host nations for their support.
The participants in the summit agreed to develop a tailored forward presence in the south-eastern part of the Alliance.
They also declared the Initial Operational Capability of NATO's Ballistic Missile Defence.
Furthermore, the leaders pledged to strengthen their own cyber defences and recognised cyberspace as a new operational domain.
The participants also reviewed and reaffirmed the importance of increasing military spending.
Stoltenberg noted that 2015 was the first year in many in which a small increase in defence spending was recorded and according to estimates suggested a further 3 % growth will be registered this year.
He highlighted that NATO poses no threat to any country and continues to seek constructive dialogue with Russia.
Stoltenberg identified the NATO-Russia Council as an important tool and reminded that a new meeting of the council will be held at the levels of ambassadors on July 13.
The Bulgarian delegation headed by President Rosen Plevneliev will call for NATO's enhanced presence in the Black Sea.
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