British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has revealed that a number of British troops will be stationed in the Baltic states (Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia) as part of a wider mission to deter further Russian aggression in the region. Fallon made the announcement during a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels stating the deployment was intended to reassure former Eastern Bloc members that the NATO alliance will stand by them.
This is further reassurance for our allies on the eastern flank of NATO – for the Baltic states and for Poland.
Fallon outlined that the NATO mission including British troops will primarily revolve around evaluating the current strategic situation and provide training and support to the former Eastern Bloc countries in order to improve their defensive stance. The move is certain to attract criticism in the wake of heightened tension between the Western powers and Moscow following President Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch airstrikes in Syria which sources in Washington and London have claimed are aimed at supporting Bashar al-Assad’s government rather than defeating Islamic State (IS) as Moscow have claimed.