Sunday

21st Jan 2018

US to send 600 troops to Baltics, Poland amid Ukraine tensions

The US Tuesday (22 April) announced it is sending hundreds of troops for military exercises to four countries in Eastern Europe to assure them of its commitment to the region's defence amid ongoing tension in Ukraine.

The 600 US troops will be deployed to Poland and the three Baltic countries - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania - and will conduct live ammunition exercises with forces from the four host states.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • The US Pentagon said the move was in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine. (Photo: EUobserver)

The US Pentagon said the move was in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine.

“If there’s a message to Moscow, it is the exact same message, that we take our obligations very, very seriously on the continent of Europe,” said Pentagon press secretary, Rear Admiral John Kirby on Tuesday, according to US media reports.

Kirby said the decision was more than about symbolism, with Nato having ruled out military intervention in Ukraine.

“Any time you put troops on the ground and doing exercises — in this case, for a month at a time — it’s more than symbology. The kind of work that we’re going to be doing is real infantry training. And that’s not insignificant.”

Around 150 troops are to arrive in Poland from a US base in Italy on Wednesday while the three Baltic states should all see US troops by next Monday.

The move is in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea last month following a referendum which the US and the EU have not recognised.

Tensions have since spread to eastern Ukraine with armed pro-Russia forces occupying areas and refusing to leave until the country's acting government steps down.

The developments, which have seen Russia mass elite troops on the Ukrainian border, have made EU states neighbouring Russia and Ukraine particularly nervous.

However, the EU as a whole has struggled to find a coherent response, as it weighs a series of issues including not escalating the crisis and protecting economic and energy interests.

The US has been more forthright in its response although military intervention has been ruled out.

Vice President Joe Biden after a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Tuesday told Kiev that it will not walk this "difficult road" alone.

"No nation has the right to simply grab land from another nation,” he said. “No nation has that right. And we will never recognise Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea, and neither will the world.”

Biden also called on Russia to “stop supporting men in masks in unmarked uniforms" who have seized buildings in eastern Ukraine.

The US has air force fighters circulating in the four countries and a navy presence in the Black Sea.

On Tuesday Washington said it would provide $50 million in aid “to help Ukraine pursue political and economic reform and strengthen the partnership between the United States and Ukraine" and $8 million in non-lethal assistance to Ukraine troops.

EU seeks to extend Morocco fish deal, despite legal opinion

An EU court advisor says an EU fish deal with Rabat should be scrapped due to the Morocco-annexed territory of the Western Sahara. The fisheries agreement is set to expire in July but the European Commission want to renew it.

News in Brief

  1. Germany confirms attendance at air quality summit
  2. Nearly half of 'fixed' Dieselgate cars show problems
  3. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook up hate speech deletion
  4. UK mulls bridge to France
  5. German far-right float anti-asylum bill
  6. EU Parliament to investigate glyphosate-decision process
  7. 'Mutagenesis' falls outside EU's GMO rules, says EU top lawyer
  8. Decision on Polish MEP's Nazi-era slur postponed

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on the agenda This WEEK
  2. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  3. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  4. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  5. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  6. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names
  7. EU to lend Greece up to €7bn more next week
  8. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia