NATO Expands Deployment to Aegean Sea in Effort to Stem Migrant Flow

Photo: NATO website

NATO decided to expand its deployment to the Aegean Sea in an effort to stem the migrant crisis.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed on Sunday the expansion of the Alliance's deployment to the Aegean Sea.

The ships deployed by the Alliance will provide assistance to Greece, Turkey and the EU's external borders agency Frontex in their efforts on tackling the refugee crisis.

Ships of NATO are already collecting information and conducting monitoring in the Aegean Sea, with their area of operation to be expanded in territorial waters.

NATO commanders have defined the area of activity in close consultation and coordination with both Athens and Ankara.

The purpose of the deployment is not to push back migrant boats but to help Greece, Turkey and the EU in their efforts to tackle human trafficking networks.

NATO's Maritime Command agreed with Frontex on arrangements at the operational and tactical level.

NATO and Frontex will be able to exchange liaison officers and share information in real time, enabling the EU's external borders agency, Greece and Turkey to take action in real time.

The decision of NATO to assist in the conduct of reconnaissance, monitoring and surveillance in the Aegean Sea was welcomed by the EU as an important contribution to international efforts in tackling smuggling and irregular migration.

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