Nato leaders agree on new multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia

Written by on March 24, 2022 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Nato leaders agree on new multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia

Nato leaders agreed on March 24 on the establishment of four additional multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia, a statement by the Alliance said.

The leaders, meeting at a special summit, called on Russian President Putin to immediately stop the war on Ukraine and withdraw his forces.

“We strongly condemn Russia’s devastating attacks on civilians, including women, children, and persons in vulnerable situations,” the leaders said.

They said that in response to Russia’s actions “we have activated Nato’s defence plans, deployed elements of the Nato Response Force, and placed 40 000 troops on our eastern flank, along with significant air and naval assets, under direct Nato command supported by Allies’ national deployments.

“We are also establishing four additional multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.”

It is expected that about 900 Nato Allied military personnel, including 150 from the UK, will be stationed in Bulgaria. The battlegroup in Bulgaria will be made up mainly of Bulgarian military personnel.

Talks are also being held about Italian military personnel being included, according to Bulgarian National Radio.

“We are taking all measures and decisions to ensure the security and defence of all Allies across all domains and with a 360-degree approach,” the joint statement by the Nato leaders said.

“Our measures remain preventive, proportionate, and non-escalatory,” the statement said.

“We will now accelerate Nato’s transformation for a more dangerous strategic reality, including through the adoption of the next Strategic Concept in Madrid.

“In light of the gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades, we will also significantly strengthen our longer term deterrence and defence posture and will further develop the full range of ready forces and capabilities necessary to maintain credible deterrence and defence,” it said.

These steps would be supported by enhanced exercises with an increased focus on collective defence and interoperability, the statement said.

“We are increasing the resilience of our societies and our infrastructure to counter Russia’s malign influence,” it said.

“We are enhancing our cyber capabilities and defences, providing support to each other in the event of cyber-attacks. We are ready to impose costs on those who harm us in cyberspace, and are increasing information exchange and situational awareness, enhancing civil preparedness, and strengthening our ability to respond to disinformation.”

The statement said that Nato would enhance its preparedness and readiness for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, adding that further decisions would be taken when Nato leaders meet in Madrid at the end of June.

Nato Allies had stepped up their support and would continue to provide further political and practical support to Ukraine as it continues to defend itself, the statement said.

The Alliance would also continue to provide assistance to Ukraine in such areas as cybersecurity and protection against threats of a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear nature.

The statement said that Nato Allies were also providing extensive humanitarian support and were hosting millions of refugees.

The statement said that Nato foreign ministers would further discuss the Alliance’s support to Ukraine when they meet in April.

(Photo: Nato)

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