Apart from the military buildup on Russian borders, the US and NATO strategy also includes conducting continuous, enhanced multinational training and security cooperation activities with US and NATO partners in eastern Europe. Since the Operation began, these military exercises have been conducted in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.
In mid-January, Estonia and Lithuania also signed agreements with the US regulating the status and deployment framework of American soldiers and hardware on the territory of the two Baltics states, which were dubbed “first of its kind.”
The agreements provided a legal framework for the presence of US military personnel and their family members in the two Baltic States, as well as the use of the local military sites by American troops. They also enable a range of joint “defense-related activities.”
While NATO members continue to point toward perceived “Russian aggression,” calling it “a source of instability,” Russia has consistently denied that it poses any kind of threat. Moscow has also expanded its own military training and increased its strategic capabilities in areas such as Kaliningrad, its western exclave.
Russia also tried to ease tensions by proposing enhanced cooperation with NATO on multiple levels in August. The proposal covered such fields as combatting terrorism and “cooperation to avoid incidents at sea and in the air” in border areas with NATO countries.
More than 50 units of US military equipment, including four battle tanks and 15 infantry fighting vehicles, were delivered to Tapa, the Estonian Defense Forces said in a statement. The personnel of the Charlie Company of 68th Armored Regiment’s 1st Battalion from the US Army 4th Infantry Division arrived in the town two days earlier, on January 30.
“The movement of equipment and troops into and around Europe marks the beginning of a continuous rotation of armored brigade combat teams from the United States as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve,” the US Defense Department said in a statement, commenting on the move.
“Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of continued US commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America’s dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine,” it added.