Chairman of NATO's military committee Petr Pavel speaks to Reuters on the sidelines of the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore June 3, 2016. REUTERS/EDGAR SU
Reuters: NATO commander sees no imminent Russian threat to Baltics
NATO is not contemplating a troop build-up in East Europe and the Baltics beyond exisiting plans as there is no imminent threat from Russia, despite fears amongst Baltic states, the alliance's military chief said on Monday.
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia see themselves in the frontline of any potential conflict with Russia and are putting their armies on a war footing.
NATO is planning a new NATO force in Poland and the three Baltic nations.
The four battalions, of up to 1,000 troops each, are part of a wider deterrent to be approved at a summit in Warsaw on July 8 that NATO hopes will discourage Russia from orchestrating the kind of campaign it used to annex Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in February 2014.
General Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, said the battalions would act as a political deterrent rather than a military one. No bigger force was needed at this point, he said.
"Deployment of substantial military force is not being considered," he told a news conference.
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WNU Editor: This is the new NATO fear .... US Nato general fears rapid Russian troop deployments (BBC). In short .... not what Russia is doing, but what they can do.