Wednesday, January 4, 2017

US Troops in Lithuania Deter Russian Aggression; Baltic States Don't Trust Russia for Seizing Crimea

The Lithuanian government has confirmed the presence of U.S. special forces in the country, which it said had been deployed to train local forces and act as a deterrent against Russian aggression, the IB Times website reports today (January 4, 2017).

"The United States was the first to offer additional safety assurance measures to the Baltic countries following the deterioration of the security situation in the region after the [Russian] annexation of [Ukraine's] Crimea," Defense Ministry spokeswoman Asta Galdikaite told local media yesterday.

She added that the U.S. forces were training Lithuanian special forces, and would remain there as long as the security situation made it necessary.

In recent months, tensions between the Baltic state and its Russian neighbor have increased, with Moscow deploying nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to its Kaliningrad enclave.

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