US Planning to Store Heavy Arms in E. Europe

US Planning to Store Heavy Arms in E. EuropeUS Planning to Store Heavy Arms in E. Europe

The Pentagon is reportedly planning to station battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy equipment for up to 5,000 US troops in Eastern European and the Baltic countries. It says the move is to reassure its NATO allies.

According to the New York Times citing American and allied officials, the equipment would be stored in each of the three Baltic nations, namely Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, as well as Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and possibly Hungary.

The move, if approved, would be the most serious deployment of military hardware in Europe since the end of the Cold War. However, the plan falls short of a permanent presence of boots on the ground, RT reported.

After NATO initially expanded into the Baltic States in 2004, the permanent stationing of equipment and troops in these countries was avoided so as to consider Russia’s interests.

But following the conflicts in Ukraine, NATO and the US have decided to bolster forces in the region, which they say is to send a message to the Russian government that NATO will defend its alliance members.

The stocks of heavy weapons would be enough to equip a brigade of about 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers and is about the same as the Pentagon kept in Kuwait after the 1990 invasion of Iraq.