Sweden, not a member of NATO, announced that it would send Ukraine 5,000 antitank weapons, 5,000 helmets, 5,000 items of body armor and 135,000 field rations, plus about $52 million for the Ukrainian military. Finland, similarly, has said it will deliver 2,500 assault rifles and 150,000 rounds of ammunition for them, 1,500 antitank weapons and 70,000 combat rations.
But NATO has also moved to sharply reinforce its deterrence in member states on its eastern flank, to ensure that Russia does not test NATO’s commitment to collective defense.
The United States alone has deployed 15,000 extra troops to Europe — 5,000 to Poland, 1,000 to Romania and 1,000 to the Baltic States — while committing another 12,000 troops, if necessary, to NATO’s Response Force, being used in collective defense for the first time.
Washington has also deployed more fighter jets and attack helicopters to Romania, Poland and the Baltic States.
In other examples of the rapid NATO effort to beef up its eastern borders, France sent its first tranche of troops to Romania on Monday, to lead a new NATO battalion there, and provided Rafale fighter jets to Poland.
Germany, which already is lead nation of a NATO battalion in Lithuania, has sent another 350 troops and howitzers there, six fighter jets to Romania, some troops to Slovakia and two more ships to NATO’s maritime patrols. Berlin also said it would send a Patriot missile battery and 300 troops to operate it to NATO’s eastern flank, but did not specify where.
Britain, the lead nation of the NATO battalion in Estonia, has sent another 850 soldiers and more Challenger tanks there, plus 350 more troops to Poland. It has also put another 1,000 on standby to help with refugees, and sent another four fighter jets to Cyprus, while sending two ships to the eastern Mediterranean.