In Digest, Russia

NATO secretary-general tells Canada and allies to keep Russia in check

By Steven Chase,  The Globe and Mail, March 24, 2015

Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (L) meets Stephen Harper in Ottawa on March 23, 2015, photo by Office of the Prime Minister of Canada

Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (L) meets Stephen Harper in Ottawa on March 23, 2015, photo by Office of the Prime Minister of Canada

OTTAWA — NATO’s top official says Canada and the rest of the military alliance should be prepared to keep in place efforts to deter Russian aggression in Europe for years. Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, made a brief stop in Canada on Monday to meet Stephen Harper and discuss alliance business.

… NATO has reacted in the past year by overhauling its defence plans and moving troops, airplanes and warships closer to its eastern flank. Canada has joined air patrols along the Baltic states that border Russia, deployed troops to joint NATO exercises in the region and assigned a vessel to allied patrols in the Black Sea and Mediterranean.

The alliance has created a 5,000-troop rapid reaction force that can be deployed in Europe within 48 hours and is more than doubling the size of its existing NATO reaction force to 30,000 soldiers.

It’s also creating six “command and control” centres in the Baltic states and the member countries along its eastern flank, including Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, that could co-ordinate military action should the need arise…

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