04:24 GMT19 September 2020
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    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)
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    Turkey will assume responsibility for forming a spearhead unit as part of the NATO high readiness force in 2021, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Wednesday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – NATO's recently created Spearhead Force is a high readiness unit comprising nearly 5,000 land troops, capable of responding to alert orders within 48 hours. The initiative is part of the alliance's policy to strengthen defense along its southern and eastern borders.

    The force will be formed by so-called framework nations of the alliance. Earlier in the year, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain said they would be able to act as framework nations for a certain period of time.

    "Turkey has offered to assume the responsibility of a framework nation in the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force for 2021," Davutoglu said, opening the meeting of the North Atlantic Council with partner nations of NATO's non-combat mission in Afghanistan.

    NATO members approved a plan to develop the capabilities of the alliance's Response Force during the Wales Summit in 2014. According to NATO, the move is intended to respond to "security challenges posed by Russia" as well as those coming from the Middle East and North Africa.

    Russia has repeatedly voiced its concern over NATO's military buildup along its western borders, including the bloc's large-scale drills in the Baltic states.

    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)


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