23 January 2018, Tuesday, 20:54

NATO to create rapid reaction forces in response to Russia’s aggression


Decisions, taken at the upcoming summit in Wales, will be historical for the alliance.

In the run-up to the summit NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told at a press-conference in Brussels about a new plan on repelling security threats in the alliance’s relations with Russia and new rapid reaction forces, RBC reports.

“Today is the time of various crises in several fronts. In the east Russia is openly intervening in the situation in Ukraine. In the south we can see the growing instability with fragile states, growing extremism and religious fight. These crises can spread at high speed. All of them, in this way or another, can affect our security”, - said NATO’s Secretary General.

According to Rasmussen, NATO’s main goal is to “protect the population and the territory” of the alliance member-countries. “This, at the summit the alliance is going to develop measures on defending its allies from any possible attack. We will agree on an action plan, which will for making NATO as fast as never before”, - he added.

Rasmussen emphasized that the action plan, being developed, “is the response to Russia’s aggressive behavior, as well as to all other possible security challenges”.

NATO’s Secretary General told of the intention to create new rapid reaction forces. According to him, they will include several thousand troops, “ready to respond upon necessity from air, sea and support of special operations units”.

“We already have NATO rapid reaction forces. These are multinational forces, which can be deployed wherever in the world for collective defense. Now we will significantly increase their reaction speed. We will develop what I call the sharp edge of our rapid reaction forces – very fast preparation level with the possibility to deploy in very short terms”, - he explained. According to Rasmussen, the plan foresees that the alliance will have “right forces and right equipment in the right place at right time”.

“This also means more visible NATO presence in the east up to the level it is required. This will make NATO quicker and more flexible in order to adapt to all types of threats”, - he emphasized.

Rasmussen did not provide any further details of the new NATO forces. The Financial Times, with a reference to an official representative of the alliance, reports that the rapid reaction forces will include about 4 thousand troops and will be able to be set ready to response to a threat within approximately 48 hours.

The full plan to repel possible threats will be presented at the NATO summit on Friday.