Blinken: NATO looking at more permanent troop deployments in Baltic region
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday said NATO is looking at more permanent troop deployments in the Baltic region as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine.
Asked if the U.S. will send troops to the Baltic region permanently to protect NATO countries, Blinken told reporters that the alliance is “looking at questions of more permanent deployments.”
“We’re continuously reviewing within NATO our defense posture, including looking at questions of extending the deployment of forces, looking at questions of more permanent deployments,” Blinken said during a joint press conference with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis in Lithuania.
“All of that is under regular review, and we’re engaged with NATO Allies in doing just that,” he added.
The secretary emphasized that “When it comes to NATO, the line is very clear,” pointing to article five of the North Atlantic Treaty.
“If there is any aggression anywhere on NATO territory, on NATO countries, we the United States, all of our allies and partners, will take action to defend every inch of NATO territory,” Blinken said. “It’s as clear and direct as that.”
The U.S. moved six fighter jets to the Baltic region and the Black Sea late last month to support NATO’s defensive stance after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a military operation in Ukraine, which set Moscow’s invasion in motion.
Additionally, the U.S. deployed thousands of troops to Poland, Germany and Romania as fears were rising of a potential Russian invasion.
Blinken’s comments come on the twelfth day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The secretary is currently traveling through Europe to meet with NATO allies and other European partners amid the conflict.
The trip itinerary includes stops in Belgium, Poland, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.