O The United Kingdom will deploy another 1,000 troops and two new aircraft carriers to defend Estonia, as part of NATO operations in Eastern Europe, the country’s Defense Secretary announced this Wednesday.
According to The Guardian, citing Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, the UK already has around 1,700 troops in the region. However, the military reinforcements will not leave the UK, and will always be ready to travel to the Baltic if necessary.
As for the aircraft carriers, Wallace pointed out that it would be more efficient for them to be ready in Germany, on a NATO basis.
The British government’s announcement comes shortly after NATO announced it would exponentially increase the number of troops on high alert, to 300,000, available to respond should Russia attack any member of the alliance.
This all comes after Russia invaded Ukraine when it was preparing to join NATO, and in the midst of the accession processes of Sweden and Finland, which applied after continuous threats by the Russians to the Nordic and Baltic Sea countries. .
Ben Wallace added that a large part of the increase in British military deployment will be maritime. The UK has two aircraft carriers, which support the British fleet.
NATO’s military presence in countries closest to Russia, such as Estonia, Lithuania or Bulgaria, has increased throughout the war, and the alliance’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, reinforced the need for countries to increase their defense budget. military for 2% of its GDP.
The British defense secretary also pointed out that the UK’s response plans have been updated, because the war in Ukraine has changed the way countries think about more immediate defense. “Understandably, the Baltic states pointed out that what they saw in the war in Ukraine was that if you wait five days, nobody will survive. So we don’t want to take the risk and wait for our tanker ferries to arrive in Estonia,” he said.
Although the new plans call for a large part of the troops to stay on British territory – an attitude that has already been criticized in the face of a similar decision by Germany – Wallace assured that most of the necessary troops “already are” in Estonia.
The war in Ukraine has claimed more than 4,500 civilian deaths, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. However, the organization warns that the real death toll could be much higher, given the difficulties in counting civilian casualties in territories controlled or besieged by the Russians.
Also Read: NATO: Madrid Summit Declares Russia “Biggest and Most Direct Threat”
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