NATO trumpets resolve over Russia, plays down divisions
BRUSSELS — NATO defense ministers met Thursday in a fresh show of resolve against Russia and played down a series of festering trans-Atlantic disputes that threaten to undermine unity across the military alliance.
At a meeting in Brussels, the ministers unveiled a new plan to reinforce their presence in any European crisis with the deployment of 30 troop battalions, 30 squadrons of aircraft, and 30 warships within 30 days. Details of the plan, drawn up by the United States S and to be in place by 2020, remain sketchy.
They also made official staffing levels of more than 1,200 personnel for new commands covering the Atlantic Ocean — based in Norfolk, Va., — and in Ulm, Germany, handling logistics during any conflict on mainland Europe.
‘‘We have decided further steps to strengthen our shared security and boost defense and deterrence against threats from any direction,’’ NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said. He said the two commands will help ensure we have the right forces in the right place at the right time.