NATO meets to show resolve over Russia, paper over divisions

NATO defense ministers are gathering in a fresh show of resolve against Russia while hoping to prevent a series of festering trans-Atlantic disputes from undermining unity across the 29-nation military alliance.

At a meeting in Brussels Thursday, the ministers are set to unveil a new plan to reinforce their presence in Europe in the event of any crisis with the deployment of 30 troop battalions, 30 squadrons of aircraft and 30 warships within 30 days.

Details of the plan, to be in place by 2020, are sketchy. The ministers are also likely to announce a strengthening of maritime operations, particularly in the Mediterranean Sea, where Russian ships have been shadowing allied vessels.

Staffing levels for two new commands covering the Atlantic Ocean and mainland Europe are also to be revealed.