NATO leaders have approved the deployment of four additional battle groups in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia at their summit on Thursday, US Ambassador to NATO Julie Smith said Wednesday. Ahead of NATO’s summit on Thursday, March 24, the US Ambassador to NATO, Julie Smith said forces from different NATO members would be deployed to the Eastern European countries to counter Russian aggression in Europe.
She said they are “not just national forces,” saying additional details would be shared.
Speaking at an Atlantic Council event, Smith said NATO is in discussions about its medium- and long-term force presence in its eastern flank. “We’re going to have to make a series of ongoing assessment about our force posture that will take us weeks and months into the future,” she said, noting “it’s still an open question” of how the alliance takes the NATO-Russia Founding Act — which NATO allies believe Russia is “in clear violation of” — and moves to its longer-term posture.
“All options are on the table,” including permanent basing, she said.Smith claimed Poland’s proposal of a NATO peacekeeping mission for Ukraine isn’t “dead in the water,” but said there are “a lot of open-ended questions” and “allies want to know more about what Poland is suggesting here.” “We want to encourage this type of fresh thinking,” she said. “No one ever shirks or turns away when an ally brings an idea into our discussions here.”