UK Might Dispatch Hundreds of Troops to NATO Countries Near Ukraine, Reports Say
13:17 GMT 21.01.2022 (Updated: 15:17 GMT 28.05.2023)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - London is considering the possibility of sending hundreds more troops to allied countries neighboring Ukraine as a "deterrent" to Russia, thereby beefing up the UK's contribution to NATO's operations in the region, The Times reported on Friday, citing defense sources.
The alliance members have reportedly held high-level talks about bolstering their military presence in the Baltic States and Poland right after UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss warned Russian President Vladimir Putin to "step back from Ukraine before he makes a massive strategic mistake", as quoted by The Times.
Currently, the United Kingdom leads a NATO battle group of 1,200 troops in Estonia, where it has tanks, armoured vehicles, air defence systems, and intelligence assets, according to the media. Poland hosts 140 UK troops as part of NATO's mission too.
© AFP 2023 / Wojtek RADWANSKI US soldiers are pictured prior the beginning of the official welcoming ceremony of NATO troops in Orzysz, Poland, on April 13, 2017.
US soldiers are pictured prior the beginning of the official welcoming ceremony of NATO troops in Orzysz, Poland, on April 13, 2017.
© AFP 2023 / Wojtek RADWANSKI
When asked about the timing of the deployment discussed, a source told the newspaper: "If there was a NATO ally about to have Russian troops knocking on their doorstep then they (the force) would be there quickly".
On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow does not give cause to provoke a conflict situation around Ukraine. Accused by the West and Kiev of "aggressive actions", Russia has repeatedly rejected the allegations and stated that it has no intention to invade any country. The accusations, however, might be seen as a pretext for deployment of NATO military equipment near Russian borders, according to Moscow.