Belarus: Increased NATO presence forces reaction
Even though the increased presence of NATO in the Baltic States and Poland did not pose a direct threat to Belarus, the country would be forced to react to these steps, Belarus’ foreign minister Vladimir Makei said following a meeting with his Latvian counterpart on Thursday.
“We are not applauding this step. We can understand it, even though we do not support this decision. At the same time, we do not consider it a direct threat, but there are certain challenges we have to react to,” Makei said at a press conference.
He added that a dialogue among all involved parties was necessary, between NATO and Russia as well as Belarus.
The NATO summit in Warsaw on Jul. 8 and 9 is expected to lead to an agreement on the deployment of allied forces to the Baltic States and Poland.
NATO announced in June that it would deploy four battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to counter a more assertive Russia. According to NATO standards, a battalion-level battlegroup consists of some 500-1,000 troops.