NATO launches Black Sea force as latest counter to Russia

The force will initially be built around a Romanian brigade of up to 4,000 soldiers, supported by troops from nine other NATO countries, and complementing a separate deployment of 900 U.S. troops who are already in place. The plans are to include additional air and sea assets to give the force greater capabilities.SPONSORED“Our purpose is peace, not war,” Romanian President Klaus Iohannis told the NATO Parliamentary Assembly of alliance lawmakers, which is meeting this year in Bucharest.“We are not a threat for Russia. But we need dialogue from a strong position of defense and discouragement,” he said, before flying to the Craiova military base in south-eastern Romania.At the base, as military bands played, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stood alongside Iohannis, addressed some of the troops in green face paint and inspected vehicles and weapons.“We are sending a very clear message: NATO is here, NATO is strong and NATO is united,” Stoltenberg told assembled Polish, Romanian, Spanish and Portuguese soldiers.Russia accuses NATO of trying to encircle it and threatening stability in Eastern Europe, which NATO denies. Around the Black Sea, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey are NATO members while Georgia and Ukraine aspire to join.


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