Speaking after a meeting with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and Minister of defense of Lithuania Jonas Sukasam, Breedlove said that at present NATO fighters patrolling the airspace above the Baltic States, which is the practice in peacetime. According to him, it is necessary to proceed to the next stage and to make possible the creation of the air force, which will be ready to defend the region in case of war, reports Reuters.
“I think the Alliance need to be ready for a mission to protect the airspace of the Baltic States. And we, as military people, we have studied this possibility,” — said Breedlove.
Currently the skies over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania eight patrol aircraft of NATO, which is twice more than in 2014. According to the head of the military Department of Lithuania Jucas, this amount is not enough. In his opinion, it is necessary to create a clear system through which NATO aircraft will be able to reflect possible aggression from outside.
March 27, Breedlove proposed to return to Europe the reconnaissance aircraft U-2 to “watching a resurgent and aggressive Russia.” He also stated that Russia is a “long-term existential threat” to the United States.
In March it became known that the Breedlove at the post of the commander of the NATO forces in Europe will be replaced by General Curtis Scaparrotti. His candidacy was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama and later endorsed by the NATO Council. The Stars and Stripes, depicting the work of the Pentagon, communicates the appointment of Scaparrotti a need to strengthen the Eastern borders of NATO in Europe, and discussion of quick response in the event of a crisis involving Russia.