Czech government to send troops to Baltics to join NATO

The Czech government has approved a Defense Ministry plan to deploy almost 300 troops in the Baltics as part of NATO forces.

Government spokesman Martin Ayrer said Wednesday up to 290 soldiers will be deployed for just over a year from the start of 2018.

Such a deployment still has to be approved by Parliament.

The Defense Ministry says the Czech troops will join NATO forces in Latvia and Lithuania.

In recent months, NATO military forces have been deployed into countries bordering Russia after Moscow's annexation of Crimea prompted fears that other ex-Soviet republics — including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — could be next.