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    US Secretary of Defence James Mattis delivers a speech during a press conference following the NATO Defence Ministers' meeting at NATO headquarter in Brussels

    NATO Deployment in Baltics ‘Wholly Defensive’ to Maintain Deterrence - Mattis

    © AFP 2017/ THIERRY CHARLIER
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    NATO’s deployments in the Baltic states are solely defensive and are aimed to uphold deterrence, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said at the Munich Security Conference on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksei Meshkov told Sputnik earlier in February that the NATO’s military deployment in the Baltics poses a threat to Russia.

    "We are engaged, as we speak, to ensure alliance is relevant and fit for its time. The United States is moving units into the Baltic states – Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria – under Operation Atlantic Resolve," Mattis said. "This is a wholly defensive deployment to maintain deterrence."

    NATO also made a decision to send multinational battalions to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia at its Warsaw summit in July.

    The alliance has been increasing its military presence in the Eastern Europe since 2014, using vulnerability to alleged Russian aggression as a pretext. Russia has repeatedly voiced its protest against the increased number of NATO troops near its borders.

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    Tags:
    Munich Security Conference, NATO, James Mattis, Alexei Meshkov, Russia
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