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BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia’s government has approved a plan to deploy 152 troops in the Baltics as part of NATO forces amid growing tensions between Russia and the West.

Slovakia’s defense ministry says the soldiers will join NATO forces in Latvia, starting in the second half of 2018.

The country’s parliament where the ruling coalition has a majority still has to approve the move.

Defense Minister Peter Gajdos says the move is meant to demonstrate his country’s solidarity with its allies and NATO’s “resolve and capability to react to any potential aggression.”

NATO military forces have been deployed into countries bordering Russia after Moscow’s annexation of Crimea prompted fears that other ex-Soviet republics — including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — could be next.