Soldiers from Royal Welsh Battlegroup take part in Nato exercises on the Estonian border with Latvia (Picture: Getty)
Leaders from the 30-member alliance are meeting in Madrid to thrash out plans to put 300,000 soldiers at high readiness – dramatically up from the current 40,000.
Only nine Nato nations fulfil their commitment to spend at least 2% of their gross domestic product on defence, but the Prime Minister is expected to tell the other members to ‘dig deep’.
Officials said the UK will commit land, air and sea troops to the ‘new force model’ and provide rapid reinforcements if needed.
‘We’ve already got in Estonia a very significant enhanced forward presence of two battlegroups,’ Mr Johnson told reporters.
‘We’re working with premier Kaja Kallas on what we can do to be more supportive to Estonia, to help them operationally.
‘The work is going on for a close political and military partnership. Our commitment to Estonia, like our commitment to all our Nato friends, is absolute.’
More UK troops will be sent to Estonia to ramp up Nato defences at the Russian border (Picture: Getty)
British soldiers have already been stationed in Estonia since Russia invaded Ukraine (Picture: Getty)
Mr Johnson claims the UK will spend 2.3% this year and he will push allies to do more.
He said: ‘The Nato alliance keeps our people safe every day. But over the next 10 years the threats around us are only going to grow.
‘We need allies – all allies – to dig deep to restore deterrence and ensure defence in the decade ahead.
‘The 2% was always meant to be a floor, not a ceiling, and allies must continue to step up in this time of crisis.’
Mr Johnson faces ministers and military chiefs in open revolt about the level of UK spending.
The new head of the Army, General Sir Patrick Sanders, said any further cuts to the size of the British Army – which is set to shrink from a target figure of 82,000 troops to 72,500 – would be ‘perverse’.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: ‘For too long defence has lived on a diet of smoke and mirrors, hollowed-out formations and fantasy savings when in the last few years threats from states have started to increase.
‘It is now time to signal that the peace dividend is over and investment needs to continue to grow before it becomes too late to address the resurgent threat and the lessons learned in Ukraine. It is time to mobilise, be ready and be relevant.’
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