The United States is capable of reassuring its European allies without maintaining permanent bases in Eastern Europe, Commanding General of the US Army in Europe Ben Hodges told Sputnik.
Under the 1998 Russia-NATO founding act, NATO agreed that it would not deploy permanent bases among former Warsaw Pact nations on Russia’s western border.
“I am confident that we can provide assurance to [NATO] allies without being provocative, by doing what we are doing with rotational forces, not having a permanent basing there,” Hodges said on Tuesday.
Although some US politicians have raised the prospects of permanent troop presence in Eastern Europe, Hodges stated that “there is no advantage” to a permanent presence.
“There is no intention” to violate the pact with Russia, Hodges stated.
During the 2014 NATO summit in Wales, the alliance agreed to deploy rotational forces to NATO’s eastern flank, a measure aimed at deterring Russia. NATO’s renewed deterrence measures also include the reintroduction of US tanks into Europe, as well as a greater number of land and sea forces.
Russia has warned that the increase of NATO forces near its border is provocative and could threaten regional stability.