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NATO has decided to deploy a battalion to Estonia

14. June 2016 - 19:30
The North-Atlantic Council decided to send a battalion sized units to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Photo:

The North-Atlantic Council, meeting today in Brussels at the level of Ministers of Defence of NATO Member States, decided to increase the Allied presence in our region by sending a battalion sized unit to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso, who was a part of the North-Atlantic Council which made the decision, said that it is a breakthrough for ensuring the security of our region.

“NATO, as the world’s strongest defence organisation, is dedicated to protecting its member countries. The decision to increase the Allied presence in our region sends the clear signal to any potential aggressor that NATO stands together when it comes to the security of all Allies," said Hanso. “The decision shows that the Alliance will react quickly to a changed security situation. NATO’s reliable military and political deterrence doesn't leave any room for miscalculations – NATO will react in all instances if a Member State is attacked."

The concept behind the increased presence of Allies is based on one core member being responsible for each battalion, with other Allies contributing sub-units to the composition of the battalions. By the time of the Warsaw Summit, it will become clear which Member States will begin contributing to the increased presence. Currently the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom have announced their readiness.

The precise compositions and required capabilities of the approximately 800-1200 man international units will be agreed upon at the military level following the Warsaw Summit, adhering, among other things, to the capability shortfalls and military needs of the host countries.

The meeting of NATO Ministers of Defence, held on 14-15 June in Brussels, was the last meeting of this level prior to the NATO Warsaw Summit in July, where important decisions will be adopted, which will then be presented to heads of state at the Summit.