More money and soldiers

More money and soldiers

Andrey Kots

Against the backdrop of Russia’s military special operation, the authorities of Finland and Sweden are actively discussing joining NATO. At the same time, Brussels is strengthening the Eastern European flank, deploying new military groups and toughening the rhetoric against Moscow. About the latest actions of the North Atlantic Alliance – in the material of RIA Novosti.
Scandinavia in NATO
Finland and Sweden have been neutral for many decades and adhered to non-bloc status in principle. After the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, both the pro-government and opposition political parties of these Scandinavian states started talking about joining NATO.
According to Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, relations between Moscow and Helsinki will never be the same again. She believes that in the context of “fundamental changes in the European security system” it is necessary to join the North Atlantic Alliance.
A similar position is taken by Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. According to local media, she has already made a decision. Both countries are expected to apply at the NATO summit June 29-30 in Madrid.
The alliance has been waiting for Finland and Sweden for a long time. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg promised to accept them as soon as possible. Such enthusiasm is quite understandable: the Scandinavian Peninsula and practically the entire coastline of the Baltic Sea will pass under the control of Brussels. And the most important Russian port city of Murmansk will be only a hundred kilometers from the bloc’s borders. This, according to NATO, will significantly increase pressure on Moscow.
The Kremlin immediately reacted. Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev noted that the length of NATO’s land borders with Russia will more than double. We will have to strengthen the grouping of ground forces and air defense, as well as deploy additional naval forces in the Gulf of Finland. “We can no longer talk about any non-nuclear status of the Baltic: the balance must be restored,” he stressed.
“It’s not about deploying nuclear weapons in the Kaliningrad region – it’s too close to the borders of a potential enemy,” explains military expert Alexei Leonkov. “It means that Sweden, Finland, and the Baltic states will become legitimate targets for our nuclear deterrence forces. Poland and Norway were the states we could aim missiles at, but the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO does not pose such a threat to us as the accession of Ukraine to the alliance. Still, in the Scandinavian countries, much more adequate people are in power. there are no territorial disputes, so the balance of power is unlikely to change globally.”
Eastern flank
They continue to put pressure on Russia from other directions as well. The other day, Jens Stoltenberg announced that the alliance is developing plans for a full-scale deployment of permanent military forces on the eastern flank in order to counter “Russian aggression.”
The North Atlantic bloc, he said, is “in the process of a fundamental transformation” that will neutralize the “long-term consequences” of Moscow’s actions. There are already tens of thousands of troops in eastern Europe under direct NATO command.
Earlier, the heads of state of the alliance confirmed their unity in opposing “Russia’s attempts to destroy the foundations of international security and stability,” as well as their intention to exert “coordinated international pressure” on the Kremlin.
“In response to Russian activity, we have put in place a NATO defense plan, deployed elements of the Response Force and deployed a contingent of 40,000 troops on our eastern flank, along with significant air and naval forces and assets under the direct command of the alliance,” the statement said. joint statement: “We are also establishing four additional multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.”
Recall that similar groups were formed in 2016 in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland. In each – about a thousand bayonets. Thus, NATO increased the number of troops in the immediate vicinity of Russia’s borders by at least ten times.
More money and soldiers
In addition, NATO countries have decided to invest more in weapons. Thus, the Pentagon will spend 773 billion dollars – 9.8 percent more than planned.
Berlin will increase the military budget by at least 100 billion euros: defense spending will exceed two percent of GDP. The money will also be used to re-equip the Air Force (in particular, the purchase of American F-35 fighters instead of the obsolete Tornado). Poland will increase the size of the armed forces to 300 thousand people: twice as many as now. In addition, Deputy Prime Minister Yaroslav Kaczynski expressed readiness to deploy US nuclear weapons. The vice-speaker of the Russian Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev called this initiative “particularly cynical.” After all, NATO regularly warns Russia against the transfer of strategic deterrence to Belarus.
With the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, many members of the alliance decided to update their own arsenals on the sly. Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland and other allies responded to Washington’s call and sent old Soviet equipment to Kiev.
As a reward for their loyalty, the Pentagon promised to give them more modern weapons. According to experts, this will bring fabulous profits to American defense companies: the White House, as always, does not miss the opportunity to earn extra money.

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