To counter the Russian threat, hundreds of British combat-ready troops may be deployed to Ukraine’s NATO neighbors to strengthen their security forces.
Following talks by its member countries, Estonia and Latvia could both see an increase in NATO personnel.
Britain already has 830 troops, tanks armoured military vehicles, self-propelled artillery, air-defence, intelligence assets and engineers in Estonia, where it is leading a battle group of 1,200. Over 300 French troops will join them.
While around 100 British troops remain in Ukraine, 140 British troops will be stationed in Poland as part NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence operation.
According to The Times, plans to expand British military presence in the area are being considered by The Ministry of Defence.
Pictured: Soldiers from the British Army’s Royal Welsh Regiment stand in front of their Warrior armoured fighting vehicle near a base in Tapa, Estonia last year
The newspaper quoted a source in defence and reported that today the UK was looking to boost existing missions with “hundreds” of combat-ready troops that could be deployed at short notice.
‘They [Nato] have asked the question around boosting those [enhanced Forward Presence missions] and the Nato mission in the Baltics. Countries are thinking about what they could do,’ the source told The Times.
With regard to when the deployment could happen, the source added: If there was a NATO ally about to have Russian troops knocking on their doorstep then they [the force]It would come quickly.
Russia demanded that NATO troops be stopped from its borders.
The discussion about the deployments comes amid growing fears that a major conflict might break out in Europe. There are 127,000 Russian troops encircling Ukraine’s borders and West traders threatening to trade because of the increasingly volatile situation.
Western intelligence officials are concerned that Russia is planning a multi-axis invasion. This could be from land, air, and sea. Russian troops have been set up in Belarus, 25 miles away from Ukraine’s border.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated to CNN that NATO is looking into Russia-related sanctions, and “considering increasing NATO troop deployments in the eastern region of the alliance.”
He stated that Russia had been invited to participate in a number of meetings for a political solution.
Last week, Russia offered the West a list with security demands. The talks failed to produce any progress. Russian officials deny that they intend to invade Ukraine, however the Kremlin has deployed some 100,000 soldiers near Ukraine’s border.
U.S. President Joe Biden declared Thursday that Russian troop movements over Ukraine’s border will be considered invasion. Moscow would pay “a heavy price” for such actions.
Pictured: Ukraine soldiers conducts tactical exercises at one of the all-military training grounds of the southern Ukraine’s Kherson region, just north of annexed Crimea
Soldiers from the Russian Army 1st Guards Engineer Brigade, as well as units for recovery and salvaging are seen at tactical and special trainings in Murom (about 260km east of Moscow).
This was the White House’s latest attempt to clarify comments Biden had made on the day before, when he said that Russia’s’minor invasion’ of Ukrainian territory might result in an even more measured response from the United States and its allies.
On Thursday, Mr Stoltenberg stated that the U.S. President Joe Biden’s “minor incursion” comment wasn’t a signal for a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Stoltenberg stated that he did not believe Biden had given Russia permission to invade the United States.
Biden spoke as U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken was getting ready to meet in Geneva Friday with Sergey Lavrov to try to alleviate tensions. It appears unlikely that they will succeed.
Blinken in Berlin warned Blinken before he traveled to Geneva that there would be an immediate, serious response by the United States and its Allies if Russia sent military forces into Ukraine.
Blinken, his German counterpart, stated that if any Russian military force moves across Ukraine’s border, they will face a united, swift and severe response from America and its allies.
Blinken then accused Russia, with the estimated 100,000 soldiers it has built up in Ukraine, of undermining world order.
In Sydney, Liz Truss (British Foreign Secretary) will today urge allies of the West to stand by Ukraine and resist Russian aggression in a speech.
As part of an official visit to Australia by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and the UK’s Top Diplomat, the two will ask Russia for ‘de-escalation’ after its recent troop build-up along with meaningful talks.
According to extracts from her office, Truss will proclaim, “We need everybody to step up,” in an extensive speech on foreign policy at Australia’s largest city, the Lowy Institute.
“Together, with our allies we will continue standing with Ukraine and ask Russia to deescalate and engage meaningful conversations.”
She’ll add, “What happens in Eastern Europe Matters for the World,” and she’ll note that invasion will lead to destruction of lives and a terrible mess.
Truss was appointed to the British Foreign Ministry’s helm last September. He hopes that the visit will allow him to establish closer security and defense ties with Canberra. This is as London seeks to rebuild its position after it has left the European Union.
The company rebranded itself “Global Britain”, and began to look for new opportunities beyond Europe. Last September it launched AUKUS, a new alliance of defence with Australia and the United States.
Canberra will be able to acquire submarines powered by nuclear technology from the US.
Truss will make the argument that like-minded democracies, including Indonesia, India and Japan, must “respond together” as global aggressors are ’embolded in a manner we haven’t seen since after the Cold War.
Truss will say that they seek to export dictatorship around the globe, citing the strong ties between Russia and Beijing, including those of North Korea, Myanmar, and Belarus.
“Threats against freedom, democracy, and the rule of Law aren’t just local – they are global.
Truss stated, “Building closer bonds with our friends as well as drawing others closer to the circle of free market democracies in the long-term will make us all safer.
“It’s time for the world free to take its place.”