France to Step up Military Deployments in Eastern Europe

France will deploy more troops and equipment to Romania in the coming weeks and step up its presence elsewhere in eastern Europe as war grinds on in Ukraine, Defense Minister Sebastian Lecornu said Tuesday.

The decision, by President Emmanuel Macron, “to bolster our defensive position on Europe’s eastern flank” will be made as part of France’s NATO commitment, Lecornu told a Senate panel.

France is in charge of NATO operations for Romania, where it currently has some 350 soldiers along with Belgian and Dutch units.

That number will be doubled in November, and France will also send a dozen armored personnel carriers and around 10 Leclerc combat tanks, a military source later specified.

“We are also going to continue to reinforce our defense position in Lithuania,” with additional Rafale jets for patrols, Lecornu said.

And in Estonia, a light infantry unit of around 100 soldiers will be deployed next year, on top of the 300 French troops already there, he said.

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