DonateNATO launched a new multinational force in Romania on October 9 to counter Russian presence in the Black Sea, Reuters reports.
The force is to be built around a Romanian brigade of up to 4,000 soldiers, supported by troops from nine other NATO countries. It’s going to complement a separate deployment of 900 US troops who are already in place. Apart from Romania, Poland is the biggest troop contributor. Bulgaria, Italy and Portugal will train regularly with the force in Craiova, and Germany is also expected to contribute.
The plans include additional air support from Italy, Canada, and Britain to give the force greater capabilities.
“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.
The establishment of the force comes following Russia’s biggest war games since 2014. The Zapad (Russian for West) games showed off Moscow’s latest weaponry and its ability to quickly mass forces on NATO’s borders.
Russia accuses NATO of trying to encircle it and threatening stability in Eastern Europe, as demonstrated by a recent Russian Navy assessment report. Issued by Russian Ministry of Defense, the report states that a ”potential military conflict” with NATO countries is a real possibility.