NATO leaders set to OK more troops in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia in response to Putin’s war on Ukraine

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday the alliance is likely to bolster troops along its eastern flank, deploying four new battle groups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.

“I expect leaders will agree to strengthen NATO’s posture in all domains, with major increases in the eastern part of the alliance on land, in the air and at sea,” Stoltenberg said ahead of the NATO leaders summit in Brussels.

Since the Kremlin’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, NATO has readied 140,000 troops in the region and mobilized advanced military equipment. The United States has provided the lion’s share with 100,000 soldiers, CBNC reported.

Romania has 2,000 US soldiers, Defense Minister Vasile Dancu said Wednesday.

Ukraine which has sought NATO membership since 2002, is bordered by four NATO allies; Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.

Poland currently hosts the majority of the troops from the 30-member alliance and has taken more than 2 million refugees fleeing Putin’s war.

President Joe Biden, who is expected to travel to Poland after attending the NATO leader’s summit on Thursday, warned  that that Putin’s potential use of chemical weapons to attack Ukraine is “a real threat.”

Earlier this month, the US president warned Putin could resort to using “false flags” to justify a chemical or biological weapons attack on Ukraine.

Mr Stoltenberg warned that using chemical weapons would change the nature of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

“It will be a blatant violation of international law and with far-reaching consequences,” he said, adding that the use of such weapons could impact neighboring NATO members.

He said the alliance would soon provide Ukraine with equipment to protect against chemical, biological, radiological as well as nuclear weapons.

Russia has previously used chemical weapons on the battlefield, including in Syria.

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