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 UK to send 800 troops and hardware to Estonia in 2017

Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said U.K. would deploy tanks and drones alongside 800 troops in Eastern Europe in spring of 2017.

Censor.NET reports citing The Wall Street Journal.

"That battalion will be defensive in nature, but it will be fully combat-capable," he said in an interview.

The U.K. troops will deploy in the spring and will be joined in Estonia by forces from France and Denmark, said Fallon. The force, he said, would likely include tactical drones, Challenger 2 main battle tanks and Warrior armored infantry fighting vehicles.

Read more: Some NATO countries assist Russian Navy in Mediterranean, - Stoltenberg

By placing heavy, well-armed units in the Baltic Sea region, Mr. Fallon said, NATO was trying to show it wasn't simply positioning a small unit to trigger a larger alliance involvement, but building a force that could mount a real defense of the area.

"This is about two things: reassurance, and that needs to be done with some formidable presence, and deterrence," Mr. Fallon said. "This is not simply a trip-wire….This is a serious military presence."

In Brussels this week, NATO defense ministers are expected to also discuss stepped-up coordination with the European Union, as well as French-German proposals to build up European defense capabilities.
 
 
 
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