The United States plans to store heavy military equipment in the Baltics and Eastern European nations in a bid to reassure allies and deter further aggression by Russia.
Under the proposal, the Pentagon will store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for as many as 5,000 troops, Reuters reported, citing an unidentified US official.
It will mark the first time that Washington will be stationing heavy military equipment in the newer NATO member states that were once in the Soviet sphere of influence or part of the Soviet Union, the report noted.
The proposal, which is yet to be finalized, will see the US store a company’s worth of equipment, enough for 150 soldiers, in each of the three Baltic nations: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
Enough equipment for a company or possibly a battalion, or about 750 soldiers, would also be located in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and possibly Hungary, the report said.
The proposal, which seeks to reassure European allies in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, is expected to be approved by the White House before a NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels this month, according to the New York Times.
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