In addition to the existing forces, NATO intends to create a 30,000 strong rapid response force in Europe in case of a Russian attack, writes the German news outlet Welt am Sonntag (WamS).
Representatives of 23 EU governments have signed a declaration on their intentions to participate in a “permanent structured security and defense collaboration”. The final decision is scheduled to be made in December.
There are plans for the rapid response forces to have several hundreds of military planes and ships, the news outlet reports, citing NATO diplomats. The new divisions are meant to reinforce the existing rapid response forces, which are currently comprised of 20,000 soldiers.
NATO is expected to make the corresponding decision at the summit in July. A WamS source observed that Germany will play an important role in such forces.
The US, UK, Germany and Canada will now head international groups of rapid response forces located in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
NATO reckons that these divisions will be prepared to deter and, if necessary, immediately respond to any aggression, together with the national armed forces of these countries. Four battalions, consisting of representatives of 15 different NATO countries, will have roughly 4,5000 soldiers each. Their deployment will be a direct response to Russia’s acts of aggression against Ukraine.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on June 1 that NATO has introduced governing bodies and rapid response forces in response to statements by Russia’s leaders concerning the increase in Russia’s nuclear potential.