UK to boost military role over Baltics
Iran Press TV
Thu Feb 5, 2015 3:22PM
Britain said on Thursday that it will make a stronger military contribution to NATO to boost the military presence of the multinational alliance in in Eastern Europe.
British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said in a statement that Britain will send four Typhoon fighter jets again this year to help NATO with air policing in the Baltic States.
Fallon also said the country will deploy 1,000 troops to join a NATO rapid reaction force - named Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). The VJTF has already been described as the biggest reinforcement of NATO'S collective defence since the end of the Cold War.
The RAF Typhoons will operate alongside Norwegian aircraft between May and August to secure airspace over Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, Fallon's statement added.
Analysts say the move was aimed to reassure Nato countries in eastern Europe and deter what is perceived as a potential Russian threat to the Baltic republics or other Nato members.
They also say the announcement shows NATO now see Russia's seizure of the Crimea and military forays into eastern Ukraine as much more than just a temporary crisis between Moscow and the West.
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