NATO plans to defend Baltic States from Russian military agression: Wikileaks

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

WASHINGTON - NATO has drawn up contingency plans, for the first time since the end of the cold war, to defend the most vulnerable parts of eastern Europe from Russian military aggression, according to confidential US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks.

Nine NATO divisions, including the US, British, German, and Polish, have been reportedly identified for combat operations in the event of armed aggression against Poland or the three Baltic states. British and US warships would also take part in the operations.

According to the Guardian, the first NATO exercises under the plan are scheduled to take place in the Baltic next year, according to informed sources.

The US state department had ordered an information blackout when the decision was taken earlier this year, and that since January the blueprint has been refined, the paper said.

Secret military plans to defend the Baltic States were reportedly endorsed by NATO leaders at a summit in Lisbon last month.

The paper quoted a well-placed source as saying that the decision to draft contingency plans for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania was taken earlier this year at the request of the US and Germany at NATO headquarters in Belgium.

“The Baltic states have received strategic reassurance. That’s backed up with contingency planning that did not exist before. It’s done now. We told them we’ll give you your reassurance if you agree to the reset with Russia. That made it easier for the Germans,” the source said.

“During intense, if discreet, diplomacy last year, the resistance was overcome by the Americans, and the new policy was tabled as a joint US-German move,” he added.

Meanwhile Tomas Valasek, defence analyst at the Centre for European Reform, said that there is enough political will in NATO now to do defence plans for the Baltic states, the paper added. (ANI)

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