NATO will deploy units of the Rapid Response Force (NATO’s Rapid Response Force) to deter Russia and “respond to any unforeseen circumstance”. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced this Friday evening after an extraordinary online summit of the leaders of the coalition countries and government. It is the first time that the power of national salvation has been used in the context of collective security. Belgian Prime Minister de Croo said on Friday that Belgium would also participate.
Stoltenberg did not say where the units would be stationed. The deployment will take place by land, sea and air, according to the NATO chief. “Thousands of NATO forces are ready to intervene if necessary, as do a hundred combat aircraft and 20 ships in the Baltic and Mediterranean.” According to Stoltenberg, several member states have proposed providing additional forces to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank. “In the coming days and weeks, NATO will strengthen its presence on the eastern side,” the organization said.
The force of national salvation is a force of quick reaction that can be rapidly deployed throughout the world. It consists of units from the land, air and naval forces, as well as special forces units. France currently chairs the National Salvation Front.
Meanwhile, Belgium was asked to provide troops for this rapid reaction force. “We will take our responsibility for this,” Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo confirmed in the Heat Journal Friday night.
So Belgian soldiers will participate, although according to de Croo it is not yet clear how many troops will participate. And the prime minister said, in any case, that they are turning towards the eastern side of the NATO territory, “to make it clear to Russia, which is already behaving in a very aggressive way today, that we do not give an inch on the territory of NATO.”
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