NATO is returning to the transatlantic redeployment of troops to Europe that existed during the Cold War in order to strengthen the coalition forces on the border with Russia, Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Mikhail Popov said in an interview with the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper.
“The system of transatlantic reinforcement forces from the United States and Canada to Europe that existed during the years of the Cold War is being reanimated for the deployment of large coalition groups of troops on the border with Russia,” he said.
According to Popov, over the past two years, the North Atlantic Alliance has increased the number of servicemen of the first use unit by 1.6 times, from 25 thousand to 40 thousand people. “Reinforced battalion tactical groups (with a multinational composition of up to 1 thousand soldiers each) have been deployed in the territories of the Baltic countries. The US initiative “3 to 30” is being implemented. The initiative envisages the readiness to use 30 mechanized battalions, 30 air squadrons and 30 combat ships of the bloc countries within 30 days,” said the Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council.
He noted that in addition to the two NATO headquarters of multinational divisions, “Northeast” in Poland and the “Southeast” in Romania, the leadership of the alliance decided to form the third one, the “North” based in the command center of the Danish divisions.
On March 8, 2019, the operative group of the North division was deployed in Adazi military base in Latvia, Popov said. In addition, there is a significant increase in the intensity of operational and combat training of NATO forces in the immediate vicinity of the Russian borders. The number of exercises held in the Eastern European countries of NATO having a “pronounced anti-Russian orientation” has doubled.
Popov believes that the anti-Russian activities of the United States and NATO have resulted in a tendency to transform military risks into military threats. He drew attention to the fact that when the alliance was created, there were 15 states in it. The number of the member states has doubled over the last 20 years. At the same time, the deputy secretary stressed that this is mainly due to the admission of countries that used to be members of the Warsaw Pact and the post-Soviet republics. “In other words, since the 1990s, NATO has been expanding strictly to the East towards Russia,” Popov said.