TIME World Ukraine NATO Unveils Rapid-Response Force to Counter Russian Troops in Ukraine NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a news conference at the Residence Palace in Brussels on Sept. 1, 2014. Laurent DubruleReuters The alliance plans to tackle Russias aggressive behavior with a new expeditionary force
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced Monday that the organization was planning to assemble a spearhead force that would be able to travel light but strike hard if needed in the face of Russias increasingly aggressive behavior in eastern Ukraine.
The new expeditionary outfit would be manned by several thousand rotating allied troops who would be ready to respond by air or sea with the aid of special forces, explained Rasmussen.
The Readiness Action Plan responds to Russias aggressive behavior, he told reporters in Brussels. It equips the alliance to respond to all security challenges, wherever they may arise.
NATO representatives gathering for the Wales summit later this week are preparing a Readiness Action Plan to make the organization more agile.
Analysts claim the announcement represents the strongest response yet from the alliance since Russia began to forcefully intervene in Kievs affairs following the fall of the nations pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovych earlier this year.
Actually, what has been announced seems to be quite significant in that NATO will start stationing troops quite close to Ukraine not in the form of permanent bases but actually they will be rotating them in the form of temporary bases, Clara Portela, assistant professor of political science at Singapore Management University and a sanctions specialist, tells TIME.
This is the first step that Western Europe has taken, in military terms, since the crisis started.
On Tuesday, Mikhail Popov, deputy head of the Russian Security Council, said the transatlantic alliances recent maneuvers demonstrate it remains among Moscows principal adversaries.
I have no doubts that the issue of NATO military infrastructure encroaching on our borders, including through the expansion of the alliance, will remain among the biggest military threats to the Russian Federation, Popov told Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
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NATO Unveils Rapid-Response Force to Counter Russian Troops in Ukraine