13:52 Oct. 26, 2016
Defense Secretary Michael Fallon says the U.K. will deploy tanks and drones with troops amid NATO worries about Russia. Infographics show the recent Russian violations of Baltic countries' borders
The U.K. said it would deploy tanks and drones alongside 800 troops in Eastern Europe, the first of several expected moves by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to help counter growing fears about Russia in the region.
The U.K. troops will deploy in the spring and will be joined in Estonia by forces from France and Denmark, said Michael Fallon, the British defense secretary. The force, he said, would likely include tactical drones, Challenger 2 main battle tanks, and Warrior armored infantry fighting vehicles. "That battalion will be defensive in nature, but it will be fully combat-capable," he said in an interview.
In July, NATO approved a plan to position troops from four nations in Poland and the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
Canada, Germany, and the U.S. are also expected to release details of their planned NATO deployments when alliance defense officials gather Wednesday to discuss strengthening their defenses against Russia. Britain had previously committed to deploying a battle group but hadn't said precisely how many troops it would send or what kind of weaponry they would be equipped with.
Recently, the Baltic countries experience increase in the number of violations of their borders by Russian military planes and ships. Below you can find infographics showing the latest incidents.