WP learns of disagreements in NATO in connection with the presence in Eastern Europe

According to the publication, the Baltic countries and Poland demand the deployment of large NATO forces on their territories. At the same time, a number of European countries believe that this is too costly and will weaken their military potential in other parts of the world

Countries — members of the North Atlantic alliance cannot reach a compromise on the scale of the expansion of the alliance's military presence in Eastern Europe. The Washington Post (WP) reports this with reference to alliance documents.

According to the publication, disagreements are growing among European allies over how NATO's military presence in Eastern Europe will be built against the backdrop of Russia's special operation in Ukraine.

“The Baltic countries and Poland demand a significant expansion of the military presence on its territory and new capabilities, such as air defenses, which would greatly hamper a potential Russian invasion, — newspaper writes.

The publication says that against the backdrop of these requests, other members of the alliance, such as France and Italy, expressed skepticism about Russia's ability to pose a real threat to the allies in the foreseeable future.

At the same time, in the presence of such a threat, it is proposed to deploy in these countries, contingents of 20 thousand people each. At the same time, many states fear that the transfer of such significant forces to Eastern Europe will be too costly and will weaken their military potential in other parts of the world.

The publication indicates that a preliminary decision on the scale of the military presence in Eastern Europe should be made by the end of June, when the leaders of the countries of the alliance will gather for a summit in Madrid.

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Discussions on increasing the size of the NATO contingent in Eastern Europe have been going on for several months. On January 12, against the background of publications about the accumulation of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas spoke about negotiations with the alliance on this topic. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg subsequently said that such a measure would be considered in the event of the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine. They began on February 24: Russia announced a special operation on “demilitarization and denazification” on the territory of a neighboring state.

Latvian President Egils Levits said in March that the country needed a permanent presence of US troops. According to him, the NATO contingent should be deployed on the eastern flank in the Baltics, Poland and Romania: such a move would be a “powerful signal” for Russia. on the readiness of the alliance to defend its member countries.

In addition, on March 24, the leaders of the alliance countries approved the deployment of additional combat groups in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. The Russian authorities expressed concern about the strengthening of NATO's eastern flank. In particular, the press secretary of the President of Russia, Dmitry Peskov, said that the alliance de facto began this strengthening even before the official decision was made.

On May 14, the Baltic countries again asked NATO to increase their presence on their territory. Stoltenberg previously said that the alliance is working on plans to send permanent and full-scale military forces to the eastern borders to protect against a possible Russian attack.

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