NATO member heads of state who are meeting for a summit in Poland’s capital are set on Friday to approve a plan to move about 4,000 soldiers into the Baltics and Poland in order to deter a more assertive Russia.
The 28 NATO allies — who are being joined by representatives of 26 partner nations — are also expected to take on a series of other measures aimed at shoring up the pact’s eastern flank while reviewing new dangers on its southern doorstep from the consequences of wars in Syria and Iraq.
“This will be a landmark summit in Warsaw and an important summit in the history of our alliance,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday morning. “And it is fitting that we meet in Warsaw, a city that knows the pain of conflict and the fundamental value of security.”
The plan to set up four multinational battalions, led by the United States, Germany, the United Kingdon and Canada, is in response to calls from eastern alliance members for NATO to do more along Russia’s periphery in the wake of Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.
The plan is intended to serve the dual purpose of reassuring members and sending a signal of deterrence to Russia.