NATO Military Buildup In the Baltics Continues
Feb. 10, 2017 (EIRNS)—The U.S./NATO military buildup, set into motion under the presidency of Barak Obama, is continuing to run on autopilot. On Feb. 7, hundreds of German troops were welcomed to Lithuania by Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite. The Germans are to form the core of the NATO battlegroup for Lithuania. On Feb. 10, they were followed by an armored company of 120 U.S. troops who brought with them ten M1 tanks and five Bradley fighting vehicles. The Baltic states are demanding even more from NATO, however, and are using the Russian Zapad 2017 exercise scheduled for next September as the pretext.
Grybauskaite said after talks with her counterparts from Latvia and Estonia in Riga, according toa report in Reuters.
she said. Reuters added that the three Baltic leaders will be lobbying U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis for additional U.S. troops during the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 17-19.
The Russians, not surprisingly, are responding to the continued NATO buildup.
Russia’s ambassador to Lithuania, Alexander Udaltsov, told Sputnik, this morning. At the same time, however, he kept open the door to Russian-Lithuanian cooperation on matters of mutual interest.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also addressed the NATO buildup, today. "The ongoing activities of the alliance in the regions adjoining Russian borders are certainly provocative and destabilizing," he told Izvestiya in an interview. Lavrov said Russia would shape its response to emerging risks accordingly and "is taking steps to neutralize potential and real threats."