NATO continues to increase its presence in Black Sea region – Stoltenberg

March 19, 2020

Against the backdrop of developments in the Black and Azov Seas during 2018-2019, NATO continued to consistently increase its presence in the Black Sea region, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said.

“The Alliance continued to deploy a Forward Presence in the Black Sea region. A multinational framework brigade for training Allies’ land forces is in place in Craiova, Romania. The Alliance also invested in additional air training and air policing, and strengthened the presence of the NATO Standing Naval Forces in the Black Sea to increase interoperability and operational skills,” Stoltenberg said in an annual report for 2019 presented in a video conference format on Thursday.

In 2019, NATO ships spent 100 days in the Black Sea. NATO also maintained a series of assurance measures in and around Allied territory as part of its broader deterrence and defence efforts.

Over the past few years, NATO has implemented the biggest adaptation and reinforcement of its collective defence since the end of the Cold War. In 2019, NATO continues to deploy a Forward Presence in the eastern part of the Alliance, with four multinational, combat-ready battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. They are led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the United States respectively and comprise almost 5,000 troops from across the Alliance. These troops contribute to deterrence by operating alongside national home defence forces and by demonstrating that NATO Allies stand united in the face of any possible aggression.