Britain expects to sign at the upcoming NATO summit meeting a letter of intent with six partner nations to form a joint expeditionary force, separate from the alliance’s plan to forge a very high readiness force to act as spearhead for the NATO response force, British officials said Sept. 1.
Both projects stem from the deepening Ukraine crisis, as NATO members and partner nations in Eastern Europe and the Nordic states seek to counter a rise in the perceived military threat from Russia.
Leaders of the 28 NATO members and partner states are due to meet on Sept. 4 and 5 in the Welsh city Newport, the first summit to be held in Britain since 1990, just as the Cold War ended and Margaret Thatcher was the UK prime minister.
Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko will be at the summit, but Russian leader Vladimir Putin will not, a British official said.
The British plan runs in parallel to a German framework nation initiative, in which Berlin will work with some 10 East European partner nations to boost their capabilities, the officials said.
The British-led joint expeditionary force would work with the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and with the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark. Britain would focus on operations and train small units, drawing on its experience with France in forming a joint expeditionary force.