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US mulls sending American forces to Baltics

US Vice President Joe Biden attends a press conference after a meeting in Vilnius on March 19, 2014US Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday said Washington could send forces to the Baltic states to reassure ex-Soviet NATO allies rattled by Russia’s takeover of Crimea. “We are exploring a number of additional steps to increase the pace and scope of our military cooperation, including rotating US forces in the Baltic region to conduct ground and naval exercises and training missions,” Biden said during a visit to Lithuania, after a first stop in Poland. Russia’s swift absorption of Crimea has alarmed the Baltic states, which were ruled by the Kremlin for five decades after World War II. “Under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, we will respond, we will respond to any aggression against a NATO ally,” Biden said, spelling out Washington’s commitment to protecting its allies under NATO’s mutual defence clause.

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