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    Romanian frigate Regina Maria personnel with the NATO Standing Maritime Group-2 keep watch during a military drill on the Black Sea, 60km from Constanta city March 16, 2015

    Unprecedented Buildup: Specific Steps NATO Will Take to Contain Russia

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    The North Atlantic Alliance is busy getting ready for its upcoming summit in Warsaw that will formalize specific steps aimed at strengthening the bloc's military capabilities on its eastern flank, from the Baltics to the Black Sea. But instead of "projecting stability," as the alliance calls it, NATO is in fact looking for trouble, experts say.

    On Tuesday, NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg described some of the measures the alliance will adopt as part of the "biggest reinforcement to [its] collective defense since the end of the Cold War." The buildup is meant to send a "message" to Moscow that NATO will "continue to protect and defend all Allies against any threats coming from any direction."

    Four rotational battalions

    "Four robust multinational battalions," as the alliance refers to them, will be sent on a rotational basis to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. Each is expected to comprise 800 – 1,000 soldiers.

    ​Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States have agreed to create three of the four battalions. Canada is rumored to be in talks of taking charge of the fourth. Other nations, including France, will contribute.

    Britain is determined to deploy its "framework battalion" in early 2017, the country's Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said.

    A US Navy officer, name not available, looks on at the weapons control deck of the USS Monterey in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, Tuesday, June 7, 2011
    © AP Photo/ Vadim Ghirda
    A US Navy officer, name not available, looks on at the weapons control deck of the USS Monterey in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    NATO's buildup in the Black Sea

    The North Atlantic Alliance is determined to increase its military presence in the Black Sea. The bloc is already active in the region. "We have already increased our presence with more air-policing, with assurance measures, with more naval presence and more exercises," Stoltenberg told reporters.

    Another measure that the alliance is contemplating came from Romania. Bucharest offered to host a multinational brigade meant to "organize and facilitate NATO activities in the region, including exercises and also assurance measures."

    No extra information has been provided on the brigade.

    This step, if taken, will come on top of NATO's decision to preposition equipment and supplies in the region.

    The USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the US Sixth Fleet, has reached the port of Tallinn, Estonia, to take part in the NATO international military exercise, Baltops (Baltic Operations).
    © Sputnik/ Alexander Zabolotny
    The USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the US Sixth Fleet, has reached the port of Tallinn, Estonia, to take part in the NATO international military exercise, Baltops (Baltic Operations).

    Additional measures

    Additional steps that the North Atlantic Alliance is working on deal with the free movement of NATO forces across Europe and improved cyber defense. The bloc has already overcome some bureaucratic hurdles and revised procedures that help to move troops faster.

    "It is vital that our troops and equipment can move without delay. For exercises in peacetime, for reinforcements in an emerging crisis, time is of the essence," Stoltenberg said.

    NATO's chief also urged member states to increase defense spending to help make all of these measures a reality.

    ​NATO's alarming approach to Russia

    Needless to say, Moscow has been concerned with the bloc's military buildup and its rhetoric. After all, several senior NATO members have repeatedly accused Russia of supposedly aggressive behavior and called the country a threat to its neighbors.  Russia has always denied these unfounded claims.

    "Even foreign diplomats admitted that there is no threat of [Russian] aggression, no possible attack; it's all a myth, a bluff, etc.," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said recently. "Once again, I would like to say that Russophobia has turned into a profitable business."

    In this June 18, 2015,file photo flags wave in front of soldiers who take positions with their army vehicles during the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland
    © AP Photo/ Alik Keplicz
    In this June 18, 2015,file photo flags wave in front of soldiers who take positions with their army vehicles during the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland

    Meanwhile, Stoltenberg said that NATO does not "seek a confrontation" with Moscow and does not "want a new Cold War" to erupt.

    Steven Kelly, former CIA and NSA contractor, described NATO's conciliatory statements and provocative actions towards Moscow as "clearly a hypocrisy."

    "Russia is being chastised for having military maneuvers within their own country and NATO is deploying right up against the border, which is the most provocative thing Russia has seen since WWII," he told PressTV. "We are looking at a repeat of history, it seems."

    Kelly also urged Moscow to be wary of NATO's stated peaceful intentions.

    "The powers that be here in the Western world are definitely looking to start a confrontation. It's not a matter of if they will, it's more of a matter of when. I expect that this is probably going to be happening in the summer time," he suggested.

    Topic:
    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (362)

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    NATO military presence, battalion, saber-rattling, military buildup, geopolitics, NATO, Maria Zakharova, Jens Stoltenberg, Baltic Region, Russia, Eastern Europe, Black Sea
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