As of: 01/24/2022 3:12 p.m
Because of the Ukraine conflict, several NATO member states want to increase their military presence. Accordingly, additional combat aircraft and naval ships are to be sent to the Baltic Sea and Eastern European countries.
In the escalating Ukraine conflict, a number of NATO member states want to increase their military presence in Eastern Europe. The alliance said it was increasing its “deterrent” presence in the Baltic Sea region. According to this, additional combat aircraft and naval ships are to be sent to the Baltic Sea and to eastern and northern European countries such as Lithuania and Bulgaria.
The background is fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to the statement, allies such as Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands want to increase their military presence in Eastern Europe, with the US and France considering doing so. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the member states’ announcement.
“Strengthening Our Collective Defence”
“NATO will continue to take all necessary measures to protect and defend all allies,” emphasized the Norwegian. “We will always respond to any deterioration in our security environment, including by strengthening our collective defenses,” Stoltenberg said.
According to this, a number of members of the organization, which consists of 30 countries, have offered troops and equipment. Denmark sends a frigate to the Baltic Sea and deploys F-16 fighter jets to Lithuania. Spain is sending ships to join NATO’s permanent naval forces and is considering sending fighter jets to Bulgaria. NATO said France was ready to send troops to Bulgaria.
Michael Grytz, ARD Brussels, on the deliberations of the EU foreign ministers in the Ukraine crisis
tagesschau24 11:00 a.m., 24.1.2022
Latvia wants more NATO presence
In view of the impending escalation, Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics is even pushing for a stronger NATO presence in Eastern Europe. “We are reaching the point where Russia’s and Belarus’ continued military build-up in Europe must be addressed by appropriate NATO countermeasures. It is time to consider the presence of allied forces on the Alliance’s eastern flank as a measure both defensive and increase deterrence,” Rinkevics wrote on Twitter.
Despite the worsening situation between Russia and Ukraine, Latvia does not want to withdraw any employees from its embassy in the Ukrainian capital Kiev for the time being. The agency continues to work fully, Rinkevics wrote on Facebook. Contingency plans for an evacuation of the embassy are prepared. “We are constantly evaluating the security situation and will act accordingly,” said the chief diplomat of the Baltic EU and NATO country.
Report: US considers sending thousands of soldiers
According to a report, US President Joe Biden is also considering sending thousands of US soldiers to the Eastern European NATO countries. One of several variants discussed provides for up to 5,000 soldiers, reports the “New York Times”, citing government circles. The number could be increased tenfold if the situation worsens. A transfer of troops to Ukraine itself has not yet been considered. The US Department of Defense declined to comment on the report.
Russia plans naval exercises in the Irish Sea
Russia also followed suit and informed Ireland about naval exercises in international waters of the Irish Sea. In view of the current tensions in Ukraine, these are undesirable, said Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney.
The planned maneuvers are to be held 240 kilometers off the southwest coast of Ireland. This would be in international waters, but within Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone, where the EU Member State enjoys exclusive exploitation rights.
Coveney admitted that his country had no means of preventing Russian military maneuvers. But he made it clear to the Russian ambassador in Ireland that they were “not welcome”. Against the background of what is happening “with and in Ukraine”, it is not the time to increase military activities and tensions.
“We have to reckon with everything, but we also have to keep the negotiating door open,” Wilfried Jilge, Center for International Peace Operations, on the danger of a military escalation in Ukraine
tagesschau24 11:00 a.m., 24.1.2022