NATO is expanding its network of command centers in eastern Europe in preparation against a possible Russian aggression over the escalating conflict in Eastern Ukraine. CCTV’s Sandra Gathmann reported this story from Brussels.
NATO strengthens forces near UkraineNATO is expanding its network of command centers in eastern Europe in preparation against a possible Russian aggression over the escalating conflict in Eastern Ukraine. CCTV's Sandra Gathmann reported this story from Brussels.
Firm steps were taken on Thursday by NATO countries to set up a 5,000-strong military unit equipped to respond quickly to any threat from Russia and operating from several bases in the three Baltic countries: Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.
“Germany will play a very appropriate role in it. The decisions of today are not just so that NATO will be more flexible, faster, and stronger in its response, it is important for the internal strength of NATO, and they are also a sign for all of our unity and determination,” German Minister of Defense Ursula Von Der Leyen said.
NATO has already increased its air surveillance and conducted more than 200 exercises in eastern Europe during the last year alone.
But fresh advances by pro-Russian rebels in East Ukraine have led to new calls from Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko for NATO allies to send weapons to Kiev’s struggling forces
So far, the U.S. has been alone in contemplating the option. European Union countries, including Germany, France and Italy, have openly opposed any military escalation.
“I think there’s a concern that by doing so, the Russians will increase their offensives against Ukraine, and use it as a pretext to possibly take more of Ukraine’s territory,” said Security Analyst Amanda Paul.
NATO is also concerned about Russia’s presence in the southern regions of Georgia. It’s why they’ve decided to set up a military training camp there, and accelerate talks to make Georgia a member of NATO.
Britain, France, and Germany say they will be among the “framework nations” that will take turns leading the new rapid reaction force. Spain, Italy and Poland may also take on leadership roles.
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