Tue, Feb 21, 2017 | updated 03:50 AM IST

NATO bolsters military presence in Eastern Europe after Russian provocations

Updated: Oct 27, 2016 16:59 IST

New York [USA], Oct. 27 (ANI): The United Kingdom has deployed hundreds of troops to Eastern Europe as NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) continues to bolster its presence in the face of perceived Russian provocation.

In the largest build up of troops in the region since the cold war, the UK has confirmed it will send RAF Typhoon jets to Romania for up to four months in 2017, reports CNN.

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon also confirmed that 800 personnel will be moved to Estonia.

"Backed by a rising defense budget this deployment of air, land and sea forces shows that we will continue to play a leading role in NATO, supporting the defense and security of our allies from the north to the south of the alliance," said Fallon.

The announcement comes a week after a Russian fleet, which was reportedly en-route to Syria, passed close to British waters.

Tensions between Moscow and NATO have been increasing ever since Russia annexed the Crimea region in 2014.

The tensions further exacerbated in recent months after Russia's role in the Syria conflict.

On Wednesday, NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said that recent tactics by Moscow had forced his organization to respond.

"Russia has invested heavily in modern military equipment. They are conducting a large scale no notice exercises close to NATO borders, but perhaps most importantly Russia has been willing to use military force against neighbors," he said.

In July, the UK confirmed it would deliver one of four battalions to NATO's enhanced forward presence in the Baltic States and Poland.

UK Troops are expected to begin their deployment in Estonia in May 2017.

The US and Canada were also preparing to send forces to Eastern Europe.

United States President Barack Obama announced earlier this year that the US was deploying a "battle-ready" task-force of about 900 soldiers to Poland, as well as armour across Eastern Europe. The country was also preparing to send troops to Norway for the first time.

Canada and Italy were reported to be sending troops to Latvia, while hundreds of German forces were said to be due to move to Lithuania. Belgium, Croatia and Luxembourg were also among the countries reported to be ready to commit forces.

NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance which constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. (ANI)

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