Russia vowed to respond after the US announced its first ever plan to establish a permanent Army headquarters and base in country formerly occupied by the Soviet Union. Up to now, the US and its allies have only rotated troops in and out of those countries.
The new plan will also send an additional 100,000 troops to those already in Europe and deploy more military equipment to NATO allies, according to the Wall Street Journal.
That includes sending additional Navy destroyers to Spain, an air defense battery to Italy, and two squadrons of the latest F-35 jet fighters to the UK. Romania will receive an additional brigade combat team as part of the Pentagon’s increased focus on the Baltic region, according to officials.
“These forces—the first permanent U.S. forces on NATO’s Eastern Flank—will improve our command and control capabilities, interoperability with NATO, and management of prepositioned equipment,” the White House said.
Moscow reacted to the announcement by vowing to take “compensatory measures”.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, “I think those who propose such decisions are under the illusion that they will be able to intimidate Russia and somehow restrain it. They won’t succeed.”
The new commitments come on the cusp of Finland and Sweden’s admittance into NATO after Turkey said it was satisfied with how the two countries planned to handle alleged Kurdish terrorists.