NATO's new command structure in July - commander for Europe

The decision on a new command structure for NATO will be made at the Alliance's summit in July, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti, said in the Polish north-western city of Szczecin on Tuesday.

Asked by reporters whether NATO's new command structure could be created in Szczecin, the General said that it was too early to provide an answer as concrete decisions will be probably made at the Alliance's summit in July.

NATO's structure must be suited to the present challenges and circumstances, Scaparrotti said.

The general expressed satisfaction with Poland's decision to purchase the US-made Patriot air and missile defence system, saying this significantly strengthened the country's defence potential.

Speaking to officers stationed at NATO's Multinational Corps Northeast in Szczecin, Scaparrotti said their mission was very important for the region's security.

Szczecin was the first point on the European commander's trip to Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. He is scheduled to visit NATO battalion combat groups stationed in each of the countries from 2017 as part of the so-called Enhanced Forward Presence, or strengthening of NATO's eastern flank.

The NATO unit in Szczecin - where 24 countries have posted their officers - is to respond to threats if they appear on the alliance's north-eastern flank, with particular focus on Poland, the Baltic States, Slovakia and Hungary.