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    Polish tank comander smiles after a NATO Response Force (NRF) exercise in Zagan, southwest Poland.

    Polish Defense Minister Says NATO to Deploy 4 Battalions in Baltic States

    © AFP 2019 / Janek Skarzynski
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    NATO will deploy four battalions in Poland and Baltic states.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The decision to deploy four NATO battalions in Poland and Baltic states has been already made, only technical details are left to discuss, Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said Tuesday.

    "Our conversation confirmed that four combat battalions on a rotating basis, which would represent an important element of NATO's expanded permanent presence in Eastern Europe, would be deployed in Poland, as well as in Baltic states," Macierewicz said during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, as quoted by the local TVN24 broadcaster.

    According to Macierewicz, one of the technical details currently in discussion is a specific location of the battalions deployment. He also noted, that one out of four battalions would be deployed in Poland.

    "It is extremely important for us and it will strengthen our feeling of security and effective security of Poland and Eastern flank," the defense minister said when commenting on the possible placement of arms stock in Poland.

    NATO has been reinforcing its military presence in Europe, particularly in Eastern European states, since the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis, citing Russia's alleged interference in that conflict as justification for the move. Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations, calling NATO's military buildup near Russia’s borders provocative.

    The Warsaw summit is scheduled for on July 8-9, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg describing it as coming at a crucial time for the Alliance.


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