12:08 GMT13 August 2020
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    NATO will focus on enhancing its collective defense through the establishment of up to eight new command and control units in the eastern part of the alliance, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the press on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — NATO’s six command and control centers are intended to facilitate the rapid deployment of the allies’ Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, according to earlier announcements by NATO.

    “We are establishing six command and control units in the three Baltic countries [Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia] and in Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania. And probably also [there will] be two more of those in two more countries,” Stoltenberg said.

    During meetings with US President Barack Obama on Tuesday, Stoltenberg said the two discussed “the importance of reinforcing our collective defense” in line with the framework established in the 2014 NATO summit in Wales.

    NATO’s enhanced readiness and military presence among partner countries bordering Russia is underway, Stoltenberg explained.

    “NATO has already increased its military presence in the eastern part of the alliance with more air policing, with more troops doing exercises, and also with more ships in the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea.”

    Stoltenberg refused to confirm whether he discussed permanent NATO presence in Eastern Europe with President Obama.

    The Tuesday's meeting at the White House was the first to occur between Obama and Stoltenberg since the latter became NATO secretary general in October 2014.

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    Tags:
    NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, Europe, Russia
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