16 Feb '17, 12pm

NATO seeks to boost Black Sea presence and cyber defenses

BRUSSELS — NATO agreed on Thursday to bolster its presence in the Black Sea in the latest expansion of alliance forces across a strategic region where allies have steadily added ground forces and air power, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said. The sharper focus on the Black Sea is aimed at improving situational awareness and conducting more robust training operations, he said. It comes as NATO is reinforcing its position in the Baltics and Poland. “We will not match Russia soldier for soldier, tank for tank or plane for plane,” Stoltenberg told reporters during a meeting of defense ministers in Brussels. “Our aim is to prevent conflict, not provoke it.” NATO now is in the midst of deploying four multinational battle groups in its Baltic member states — Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia — where each unit will serve as a combat-ready deterrent force. U.S. Defense Sec...

Full article: http://www.stripes.com/nato-seeks-to-boost-black-sea-pres...

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