NATO plans to deploy new combat groups in the Black Sea region
NATO is examining the possibility of deploying new combat groups in a number of countries in the Black Sea region, as part of the alliance's expansion to strengthen its presence in Eastern Europe.
NATO alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced Friday that the alliance is examining the possibility of deploying new combat groups, not only in Romania but also in a number of countries in the Black Sea region.
At a press conference with Romania's Klaus Iohannis after visiting the Mihail Kogalniceanu military base, Stoltenberg stressed the alliance's determination to strengthen its presence on the eastern flank against the backdrop of the tense situation around Ukraine.
He also added that the defense ministers of the NATO countries will discuss next week how to strengthen the alliance's presence in the eastern direction.
NATO to deploy more forces
On Thursday, Stoltenberg told reporters at a news conference with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that NATO is deploying more forces to its eastern member states, such as Poland and Romania, and that Russia's behavior would not deter them.
Last Tuesday, Romanian Defense Minister Vasily Denko announced the arrival of the first 100 American soldiers in Romania.
France's President Emmanuel Macron has also said he's ready to send hundreds of troops to Romania under NATO command.
Additional UK troops in Eastern Europe
For his part, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Thursday the deployment of an additional 350 British troops to the eastern European country, an extra number to the 100 British military engineers that were deployed last year during the migrant crisis at the Polish-Belarussian border.
The West has been accusing Russia of preparing to invade Ukraine and amassing over 100,000 soldiers on their common border, as the United States is increasingly militarizing Eastern Europe, under the pretext that Russia is preparing for military operations in Ukraine.
Alongside the accusations, the West has been threatening Russia with "severe consequences" if it invades.