NATO forces will be deployed in Latvia, as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, Philip Breedlove claimed.
The special request has been already approved by the Latvian government. Latvian Prime Minister, Laimota Straujuma confirmed the permanent presence of the NATO military force in the country.
Generals from Lithuania and Estonia are also reported to request NATO deploy several thousand ground troops in their countries. As Lithuanian military spokesman Captain Mindaugas Neimontas said: "We are seeking a brigade-size unit so that every Baltic nation would have a battalion."
However, the deployment of permanent forces flies in the face of the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation which was signed in Paris, France on 27 May 1997.
It declared that "NATO and Russia do not consider each other as adversaries" and that the two parties will work together to prevent any potentially threatening build-up of conventional forces in agreed regions of Europe, to include Central and Eastern Europe.
The Act states that NATO "will carry out its collective defense and other missions by ensuring the necessary interoperability, integration, and capability for reinforcement rather than by additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces."
Former US Secretary of State James Baker had also ensured former Warsaw Pact nations that there would be "no extension of NATO's jurisdiction one inch to the east" after the reunification of Germany.
Breedlove refused to confirm the number of troops that will be deployed in the region, but suggested a standard NATO brigade could consist of around 3,000 soldiers.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also mentioned, that "more progress was made in implementing our Readiness Action Plan, including establishing an enhanced NATO response force and a very high readiness Spearhead Force".
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