David Cameron has authorized more troop deployment to other European countries in a show of force against Russia in the aftermath of leaving the European Union (EU).
The British prime minister, who was attending a NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, is expected to make a case against those who doubt London’s commitment’s to the security alliance following the June 23 referendum, when 52 percent of British people voted to leave the EU.
Press TV reports:
Cameron will tell NATO and allied leaders in the summit that Britain is set to deploy 650 more armed forces in the Baltic States—Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia—as well as Poland, to help thwart “Russian aggression,” British media reported Friday.
The outgoing PM, who announced his resignation after failing to prevent a Brexit vote, will also confirm London’s commitment to spending 2 percent of its national income for military purposes.
Speaking before the summit on Thursday, he said the event would act as “a chance for us to reiterate our strong support for Ukraine and our other Eastern allies to deter Russian aggression.”
UK Defense Minister Michael Fallon confirmed the new deployment on Friday, saying that a battalion of 500 soldiers will be stationed in Estonia while another 150 troops will be sent to Poland.
“[Eastern NATO countries] feel enormous pressure from Russia doing large exercises on the border, flying over their airspace and so on,” he said, adding that NATO needs to stand together in the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to force others treat Russia “as the world power it used to be.”
Ties between the West and Russia have been in tatters since the Crimean Peninsula rejoined Russia in a referendum in March 2014.
NATO cut ties with Moscow after the reunification and has been increasingly deploying troops and equipment on its eastern flank with Russia.
The deployment has drawn anger from Moscow, with Russian President Vladimir Putin vowing a firm response to any threat from NATO.