Dan Falvey — The Daily Express Nov 20, 2017
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance will remain in the area “as long as necessary” to protect its allies.
Tensions in the area have run high ever since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 causing the international military alliance to increase its military presence in the region.
Mr Stoltenberg said: “We are stepping up, we are increasing the readiness of our forces.
“We are deploying for the first time in our history forces in the eastern part of the alliance…
“We are also strengthening our ability to move forces across Europe, but also across the North Atlantic.”
Since Russia invaded Crimea a number of political spats have taken place between the two countries.
Last year Russia accused Ukraine of trying to stage armed demonstrations in the southern peninsula.
However, Ukraine argued Russia had placed tens of thousands of troops on the border.
Reaffirming his support for Ukraine, Mr Stoltenberg said: “It’s not possible to give you an exact date for staying in Eastern Europe.
“We will stay there as long as necessary.”
Recently additional Western troops have been deployed on Europe’s Eastern border with Russia as Mr Putin held his first war game with Belarus for four years.
Despite the additional Western troops during the war game in September, Russia’s military forces dwarfed those of NATO.
President Putin has previously accused neighbouring NATO-affiliated countries of being the aggressors, defending similar military drills as acts of dissuasion.
However, the Russian leader has also previously outlined his wish to see the international organisation fail, describing it as in his county’s best interest.
In an interview with NBC he said: “Well, in a sense that maybe, they should completely be falling apart, that will help.”
However, he went on to add that Russia “don’t see that falling apart just yet.”
Thee are fears that without NATO’s presence in the area that Russia would invade more neighbouring countries.
NATO was originally founded in 1949 as an alliance against the Soviet Union and has maintained its opposition to Russia’s expansionist aims ever since.