Baltic demands for NATO troop deployments won’t be met – media — RT World News
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are doubtful to receive more soldiers from the US-led military alliance, several officials told Reuters
The three Baltic states have called on NATO to send more troops into the vicinity amid fears of a future Russian attack, urging the alliance to bolster its presence by as much as tenfold, but officials from other member nations say it’s doubtful the requests will be fulfilled.
The military bloc remains skeptical over new deployments in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing seven diplomats and senior officials from leading NATO allies. While the vicinity hosted around 5,000 multinational troops prior to Russia’s assault on Ukraine in February, the three countries have asked for between 15,000 and 50,000 soldiers in total.
“The Baltic states will not each get enough NATO troops to create a division,” a NATO diplomat said, referring to a lower-end request for up to 15,000 soldiers. “in any case is decided must be sustainable.”
The NATO bloc is set for a major meeting in Madrid at the end of June, where Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are expected to again raise the issue. However, NATO’s other 27 members are more popular to a lighter presence, instead proposing additional intelligence assets to the Baltics to help to prepare for a possible Russian invasion, the officials said.
Washington and London, meanwhile, keep opposed to new long-lasting bases in the vicinity due to the high costs associated with such projects. An different idea floated last month by US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley would see new bases produced, but manned by “rotational” troops who would regularly cycle by deployments. That could avoid the need to construct family housing, schools and other expensive infrastructure typically needed for soldiers stationed oversea long-term.
“I believe that a lot of our European allies… they are very, very willing to establish long-lasting bases,” Milley told lawmakers during a hearing in May. “They’ll build them, they’ll pay for them.”
An adviser to Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda told Reuters that the country would continue to “insist” on new NATO deployments in the rule-up to the Madrid summit, while the office of Estonia’s chief minister said it is hammering out details with partners for “how to strengthen the allied presence.” Latvian officials declined to comment.
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