The newly-approved multinational task force that was agreed at the Alliance's Warsaw summit in 2016, a force deemed hostile by Moscow, is expected to be in place near Russia's borders by May.
Germany will lead the battalion in Lithuania, Canada will lead in Latvia, the United Kingdom will lead in Estonia, and the United States will lead in Poland. Norway, Denmark and France as well as other NATO states will be supplementing those forces.
The battalions, or battle groups, are part of NATO's "enhanced forward presence" in the eastern part of the Alliance and are meant to deter any potential aggression. NATO leaders, however, emphasized in their summit closing statement that the Alliance "does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia."
Moscow considers NATO's new troop deployment, as well as the increased number of military drills near Russian territory, the creation of anti-ballistic missile sites in Europe and other moves, a threat to Russia's national security.
Relations between Moscow and NATO soured sharply after Russia's annexation of Crimea and the eruption of the military conflict in Ukraine in 2014.
Date written/update: 2016-10-05