British troops will be stationed on the Estonian-Latvian border in May, along with 18,000 NATO troops, including the French and Danes, as part of the “enhanced presence” of the British-led NATO.
Dozens of tanks and 120 armored combat vehicles will be sent from Finland to northern Macedonia as part of planned movements that have been confirmed since the start of the conflict in Ukraine in February.
“Europe’s security has never been more important,” said UK Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace in a statement, adding that “in these exercises, our forces will join forces with NATO allies and partners and joint expedition forces to show solidarity and strength. It is one of the largest joint forces since the Cold War.” .
The Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) is an alliance of the armed forces of the United Kingdom, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
At the same time, British soldiers were sent to Finland this week to take part in an exercise that will “improve the ability of British and Finnish troops to work side by side as part of the JEF and prevent Russian aggression in Scandinavia and the Baltic countries”.
The United Kingdom also has around 1,000 troops in exercises in Poland with 11 other countries, including Denmark and the United States, and 2,500 in parachute and helicopter exercises in northern Macedonia with France, the United States, Italy and Albania.
“Britain is making a significant contribution to defending Europe and preventing an invasion of Russia. The British Army exercise series is critical to both,” said Lieutenant General Ralph Woodsaid.
Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine on February 24, and according to the UN, the actual numbers are likely to be much higher.
The international community generally condemned the Russian attack, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and strengthening economic and political sanctions on Moscow.