NATO to Deploy 3,000 Personnel and Equipment in Bulgaria and Romania within HoursDefense | March 15, 2022, Tuesday // 13:02| views
The United States will use Alexandroupolis as a deployment point for about 3,000 personnel and equipment, which will be located in neighboring Bulgaria and in Romania which borders Ukraine. It is a matter of days, even hours, for ships carrying personnel and equipment to dock in Alexandroupolis. Bulgaria and Romania also have a Black Sea coast, making them NATO frontline states in the current conflict.
As early as last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken went from Vilnius, Lithuania to one step further in activating NATO's response force and spoke of a permanent deployment of NATO forces on the eastern flank. The collective defense of Eastern Europe is being improved with more boots on site. With the port of Alexandroupolis and the naval base of the Souda on the island of Crete, Greece has a valuable passage to both the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean, where there is a Russian naval presence.
The war in Ukraine has necessitated a rethinking of NATO's strategy, and this will affect Greece's position in the Alliance.
With its decision to send to Ukraine military equipment compatible with the attacked country's systems, 20,000 AK-47 attack rifles, 815 Soviet-made RPG-18 anti-tank missile systems and 122 Czech-made RM-70 multi-role missiles, Greece has from the outset, shown its intention to join NATO's indirect assistance to Ukraine. The government is also preparing to further modernize the northeastern port of Alexandroupolis (Alexandroupoli).
Greece will be called up to join NATO's ground response force, and its air force is already contributing patrols over the Bulgarian and Romanian coasts, as well as over North Macedonia.
Interestingly, the United States attaches such great importance to Greece's role in NATO, given that Turkey, which is to the east and has a vast Black Sea coast, has always been considered a key ally in the region.
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