September 10, 2017

Baltic States Urge Nato Unity as Russia Gears up for War Games

AFP/Scanpix
German soldiers load armored vehicles of the type "Marder" on a train at the troop exercise area in Grafenwoehr, southern Germany, on February 21, 2017.
German soldiers load armored vehicles of the type "Marder" on a train at the troop exercise area in Grafenwoehr, southern Germany, on February 21, 2017.

Nato said it was “vigilant and alert” over Zapad, but would remain “calm, balanced and measured”.

The US has sent a reinforced contingent of fighter jets — seven instead of four — for its Nato air policing stint in the Baltic states, while Washington has also said it will bilaterally send up to 600 extra troops to the region this month. Nato naval groups are participating in an annual Baltic Sea exercise from September 8 to 21, although the alliance says this is not linked to Zapad. The three Baltic states and Poland have already each been bolstered this year by an international battalion of Nato forces. “This is very clearly a demonstration by Nato of solidarity, cohesion and resolve — and a capability to reinforce if necessary,” said Sven Sakkov, director of the International Centre for Defence and Security, an Estonian think-tank. “It is definitely a proportionate — or even less than proportionate — response.”
Read more: www.ft.com/content/cd4c4cae-9486-11e7-a9e6-11d2f0e…