Nato redeploys aircraft in CEE as Ukraine crisis deepens

By bne IntelliNews April 29, 2014

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The situation in Ukraine is edging closer towards some sort of military clash. IHS Jane’s released on April 28 an infographic of Nato and partner aircraft deployments in response to the Ukraine crisis, which it says is not a buildup of forces but highlights the continued deterioration in the situation. Moscow on April 28 voiced concern over what it called an "unprecedented" increase in US and Nato military activity near Russian borders.

Gareth Jennings, head of the Aviation Desk at IHS Jane’s said: “The infographic shows the recent, current, and planned deployments by Nato and partner nation fighter aircraft to Eastern Europe and the Baltic states in response to the crisis between Russia and Ukraine."

The war of words has definitely gotten hotter in recent days as the hopes of a de-escalation following the signing of the Geneva accord 11 days ago fades away. US Secretary of State John Kerry came out with some fighting talk in a briefing on April 24. "If Russia chooses the path of de-escalation, the international community – all of us – will welcome it.  If Russia does not, the world will make sure that the cost for Russia will only grow.  And as President Obama reiterated earlier today, we are ready to act," Kerry said. 

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told US counterpart Chuck Hagel in a phone call to "tone down the rhetoric". But the US said Shoigu also pledged Russia would not invade Ukraine, according to the BBC.

On April 28, France became the latest country to commit fighters to the region, when it sent four Rafales to Poland to help bolster that country’s air defences and to reassure of its alliance partners, Jane's reports. "It is interesting that these increased fighter levels are planned through until at least the end of the year, and could last longer than that," Jennings added. 

Increasing the size of military assets in the region by either side will only help destabilize the situation and increases the risks of some unplanned engagement that could spark a wider conflict. With these deployments, the risks have risen significantly. 

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