Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been calling for their region to receive the biggest buildup of combat-ready NATO forces in Europe since the end of the Cold War, aiming for an agreement during a summit from June 28 to 30 in Madrid.

It will not happen, interviews with seven senior diplomats and officials from leading NATO allies show.

This is partly because the proposals come as the NATO alliance faces a slew of demands not seen in decades: from countering Russia and China in the Arctic to quelling Islamic insurgencies in the Sahel and tackling new frontiers in space.