NATO to massively expand quick response force
Nato is increasing the number of troops available to its response force from 40,000 to 300,000, the military alliance's secretary general announces.
"We will strengthen our forward defences. We will enhance our battle groups in the eastern part of the alliance, up to brigade levels. We will transform the Nato response force and increase the number of our high readiness forces to well over 300,000," Jens Stoltenberg tells reporters in Madrid ahead of a summit there this week.
He describes Russia as as the most significant and direct threat to the alliance's security and values and the Nato response to the invasion of Ukraine as the biggest overhaul of its collective defence and deterrence since the Cold War.
Secretary General: NATO to agree "fundamental shift" in defence posture
Related reading ...
NATO Response Force (NRF)
Too many voices to escalate and call the Kremlin's bluff of a nuclear war.
Are we witnessing the emergence of Baltic values, if we can call them that?
The three states would perhaps see it as a Baltic adaptation of American values in the sense of a highly standardised foreign policy. Just as the Americans, even if they intervene militarily, they justify their actions. This basis of a value-orientated foreign policy, which the EU also refers to, is taken very seriously in these three countries, especially in Lithuania. Politicians then make decisions rather rapidly, such as the move to upgrade the status of Taiwan's diplomatic representation, opening themselves up to China's scorn and the consequences that go with it, especially economic ones. One should note that this type of decision-making by the Lithuanian government is not universally popular throughout the country, as there are fears that it could have negative consequences on its citizens' quality of life.
My observation is that the political debate, as well as the public one, is based on a very British and American understanding of international politics. By this I mean a rather casual approach, not the more well-considered approach that the likes of Germany stand for. People prefer to read The New York Times or The Economist not least because they are easy to read. Of course, these exist in the German or French language too. But the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel are not widely read.
Kaliningrad and EU Sanctions
Kremlin promised a quick response
Transit ban on sanctioned goods could increase already high levels of tension between Russia and NATO | Al Jazeera |
Blockading Kaliningrad will have no effect on the outcome of the Ukraine war, but it could escalate the conflict into a world war. We should instruct Lithuania to stand down immediately.
Moscow carefully evaluates blockade action by Lithuania
According to Dmitry Peskov, Russia is absolutely right in the Kaliningrad issue | Tass |
The Kremlin does not rule out the possibility of Lithuania lifting its restrictions on transit to Russia’s Baltic exclave, but is preparing for the worse, he said.
"Let us not rule out anything. Let us hope for the better and prepare for the worse. And this is exactly what we are doing now," he said.
Lithuania imposed restrictions on the rail transit of some goods from Russia to the region from June 18 due to EU sanctions. Kaliningrad later confirmed that restrictions also applied to truck freight.
Russia says the move is illegitimate as it violates the agreements the country committed to when joining the EU. Vilnius and the European Union insist they are only enforcing the sanctions regime.
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev visited the Kaliningrad Region on June 21.
Estonian PM says Baltic states would be H’wiped off the map' under current NATO plans
Dark Shadow of Centuries of Empire Building
Geopolitical shadows far too quickly closed in on this beleaguered nation -- Lithuania
Baltic States to be Occupied by NATO Forces
Ukraine war: all eyes on Lithuania as sanctions close Russian land access to Kaliningrad
Keynote Address by Ukrainian Deputy MFA Emine Dzhaparova | Clingendael |
Lithuania-Poland border and the Suwalki agreement
NATO Operation Reassurance In Baltic Sea
HMCS Summerside and Kingston will spend four months deployed near the Baltic states as part of Operation Reassurance, Estonia's public broadcaster ERR News quoted a statement by the Canadian Armed Forces.
Ships depart Halifax on NATO mission to demine North Atlantic, Baltic Sea
The barbaric, irrational Balt: Western Europe begins demonising Lithuania - opinion
Migrants were forcibly returned to Belarus. Parliament voted against legalizing same-sex unions. Domestic violence remained widespread. Lithuania had still not ratified the Istanbul Convention, nor implemented the European Court of Human Rights' ruling regarding Abu Zubaydah.
Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian national detained in Guantánamo Bay, submitted a petition in April to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and in November to a US federal court, calling for his release. In 2018, the European Court of Human Rights had ruled against Lithuania for its deliberate facilitation of Abu Zubaydah's enforced disappearance and torture in a secret CIA prison that it hosted between 2005 and 2006. By the end of the year, Lithuania had still not yet fully implemented the court's decision.
European Court of Human Rights finds Lithuania and Romania committed human rights violations due to involvement in the CIA's rendition program | 31 May 2018 |
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EU Inflation and Russia Sanctions Timeline