BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany, which took command of NATO’s high-alert force from France in January, may continue to lead it beyond the required year due to delays in Britain, the next country in the running, Table.Media reported on Tuesday, citing to sources within the German military.
The German federal defense force, the Bundeswehr, has assumed command of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) for 12 months. Germany is providing up to 2,700 troops and must be deployed within 24 to 48 hours if necessary.
According to the sources, according to online media outlet Table.Media, Britain will not be able to take command until several months after the start of his rotation, which is scheduled for January 2024.
The VJTF was created after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, which was not recognized by the international community. It was only deployed after Russia invaded Ukraine in February to provide collective defence.
The effects of such a delay on the force’s operations were not immediately known.
The role of commander is rotated among the members to share the burden it places on the military. The brigades must remain in the service of the VJTF for three years to follow different phases: deployment, rest and withdrawal. They are therefore not available for other missions or international commitments.
“I can’t tell you anything official about it at the moment,” a German defense ministry spokesman told Reuters.
The UK Ministry of Defense did not respond to a request for comment.
(Writing by Miranda Murray and Sachin Ravikumar; French version by Jean Rosset, Editing by Kate Entringer)