Baltic military chiefs to call for permanent NATO presence

Baltic states Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are preparing an appeal to NATO command for a permanent presence of NATO troops on their territory to counter increased Russian air and naval activity, the Lithuanian army said on Thursday. The states, all with ethnic Russian minorities, fear they could become a target of Kremlin pressure after a pro-Moscow rebellion in eastern Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin’s declaration last year of an obligation to protect Russian speakers across the former Soviet Union. The Baltic states would ask, in a joint letter, for the brigade to consist of battalion-sized deployments of NATO troops in each of the countries, which would rotate on a NATO-approved schedule.  



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