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Danish forces join NATO build up in Eastern Europe

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Danish forces join NATO build up in Eastern Europe

Danish forces deploy to support NATO mission in Eastern Europe
Danish force will deploy in support of the NATO mission in Eastern Europe today – Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/AP

Denmark is today expected to complete a military deployment in Lithuania in support of NATO forces in the Baltic Sea and Eastern Europe.

On January 14, Danish frigate HDMS Peter Wilemoes linked with Netherlands flagship HNLMS Rotterdam to form Standing NATO Maritime Group 1. According to a NATO press release, this group is one of four “multinational high readiness maritime forces” part of the bloc’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force. Denmark intends on deploying by no later than today four F-16 fighter jets to Lithuania.

The maneuvering comes amid mounting concerns of a large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. While a NATO build-up in Eastern Europe will signal NATO’s resolve and have a deterrent effect it may not be enough to stop a Russian assault on the country. Ukraine is not part of the bloc and therefore not formally subject to the alliance’s Article 5 guarantee. Moreover, a build-up by either side in the region poses a substantial risk that an unintended confrontation could be used as a pretext by either side to launch greater operations. Expect this game of geopolitical chicken to continue in the short-term, ending in either intentional Russian de-escalation or a full-scale invasion.

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