The British authorities are doubling the military contingent in Estonia, which is part of the NATO multinational battalion, writes газета The Daily Telegraph.
The UK currently commands a 1,200 NATO battalion in Estonia, of which about 900 are British. Now the number of British troops in the republic will increase to 1.8 thousand. In addition, 140 British troops are now serving with the US-led multinational alliance battalion in Poland. The decision to deploy NATO battalions in Estonia and Poland, as well as in Latvia and Lithuania, was made at the organization’s summit in Warsaw in 2016.
“Our diplomatic efforts are combined with containment measures. We offer NATO [поставить в регион] additional aircraft, warships and specialists,” said British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, announcing the decision to double the contingent in Estonia. In particular, a British battery of long-range rocket artillery and Apache helicopters will be deployed there.
According to her, the British authorities are also putting the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales on alert “in case tensions escalate.” Truss stressed that Britain spends the most money on defense of all European countries that are members of NATO.
At the same time, the Foreign Minister urged to look for diplomatic ways to reduce tensions in Europe. “We are serious about improving safety for everyone. The US and NATO tabled substantive proposals this week in a number of areas to increase transparency and reduce risks. Together we call on Russia to sit down at the negotiating table based on the key principles of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. The alternative path could be tragic: an invasion will inevitably lead to great suffering and serious economic consequences through sanctions,” warned Liz Truss, who quotes TASS.
According to her, now “the ball is on the Russian side.” “I will continue to discuss the topic with our allies and directly with Moscow to find a diplomatic solution,” Truss assured.
On January 29, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the military to prepare to deploy forces “throughout Europe” to protect the NATO states of Eastern Europe and give them additional security guarantees. “These measures will send a clear signal to the Kremlin that we will not tolerate its destabilizing activities and will always support our NATO allies in the face of Russian aggression,” Johnson said in a statement. – If President Putin chooses the path of bloodshed and destruction, it will be a tragedy for Europe. Ukraine must be free to choose its future.”
On January 29, French Defense Minister Florence Parly announced that several hundred more French soldiers would be sent to Romania, neighboring Ukraine. Romania already has 4,000 NATO troops.
Media and military experts have previously reported that Russia has been actively moving military equipment to the Ukrainian border in recent months. This may be preparation for invasion. Up to 175 thousand soldiers can take part in it. Most of them have already arrived at the borders with Ukraine. Reuters sources told January 28, that blood supplies and medical supplies were also transferred to the Ukrainian border. The media called it “the last preparations for the invasion.”
On the evening of January 27, a telephone conversation took place between the presidents of the United States and Ukraine. By data A CNN source, Joe Biden warned Vladimir Zelensky that a Russian invasion is now almost inevitable, the troops are just waiting for the soil to freeze and heavy military equipment to move across the border.
In the second half of January, hundreds of tons of military cargo were delivered to Ukraine from the United States, including about 300 Javelin anti-tank systems.