Croats, too, wish to "contain Russia"; join NATO effort
Croatia will this year send a battery of multiple rocket launchers to Poland, and 120 soldiers and eight armored vehicles to Lithuania next year.Source: Sputnik
They will be taking part in the military deployments dubbed "Operation Enhanced Forward Presence," led by Americans and headquartered in Orzysz, Poland, and in Rukla, Lithuania, Sputnik is reporting.
NATO has described "Enhanced Forward Presence" in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland as its "strengthened deterrence and defense posture in east and southeast."
Croatian daily Jutarnji List is quoted as reporting that one battery of multiple rocket launchers SVLR 122 BM-21 Grad should join the US, British and Romanian soldiers already in Poland, as requested by the American command.
According to unofficial information, the battery, containing three multiple rocket launchers, and its crew, should be sent to Poland at the end of this year - but this must first be approved by the Croatian Assembly.
The military ranges in Orzysz where NATO' multinational exercises will be held have the advantage of being 70 kilometers away from the "Suwalki Zone (Gap)" and about 140 kilometers from Russia's enclave of Kaliningrad, surrounded by EU countries.
Russia "most likely" has nuclear weapons installed in Kaliningrad, while the Suwalki Gap separates the enclave and "the Russian ally Belarus" for the length of approximately 60 kilometers.
The newspaper said that "military experts have been "warning for a long time that if Russia launches a conventional or hybrid attack against one of the Baltic states, it could easily cut NATO's supply routes at Suwalki."
It has been reported unofficially that several months after sending the multiple rocket launchers to the "Enhanced Forward Presence" Poland branch, about 120 Croatian infantry soldiers and eight armored vehicles should join 1,200 other troops from Norway, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, and Germany in Lithuania, where another multinational exercise is to be held near the town of Rukla.
The Croatian Ministry of Defense has not yet revealed the details of the participation of the Croatian soldiers in the operation. Sputnik said that this information has been confirmed by high level sources in the Croatian Army.