Amid tensions with Russia over Ukraine, NATO is trying to consolidate its presence in eastern Europe.
In December 2021, Russia presented a proposal to NATO and the US, according to which guarantees were to be provided for the fact that the military alliance would not expand further east.
Furthermore, it demanded that no military bases would be established in former Soviet republics and non-NATO countries, and that military cooperation with them will be halted.
Countries which were apparently indicated in this proposal are Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania — already members of the alliance since 2004.
Former Soviet republics Georgia and Ukraine which are included in NATO’s partnership program, also want to be full members of the alliance.
In 2014, following Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory Crimea, NATO enhanced its presence in the eastern bloc. Moreover, NATO deployed further forces in the Baltic states and decided to fortify its presence.
In the face of tension with Russia over Ukraine, NATO stepped up to boost its presence and deterrence in the region by sending more aircraft, including Danish F-16s, American F-15s, and warships, including part of the US 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.