NATO will continue increasing its presence in Southeastern Europe as Russia remains a serious security challenge for the block, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in his annual report presented in Brussels on Thursday.
“We have already increased our presence in the East (of Europe), with the assurance measures; with more planes in the air; with more boots on the ground; with more ships in the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea… we’ve been also establishing this small headquarters and we have more exercises taking place in the East,” Stoltenberg said in Brussels on Thursday.
NATO Secretary General said the Alliance got near the activation of the missile shield in Romania, while in spring works for a new missile defence system will kick off in Poland, underlining they are defensive systems meant to protect the European allies against real missile threats outside the Euroatlantic area.
Stoltenberg stressed that this didn’t mean a return to “the Cold War posture with hundreds of thousands of troops based along the borders.” “There’s no way we’ll move back to that posture. But we are talking about some increase in military presence and increase in the ability… of our forces to deploy,” he explained.