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Ukraine crisis: US troops arrive in Poland

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 23.04.2014 08:51
As pro-Russian separatists stand fast in Eastern Ukraine, US troops are arriving in Poland for a new programme of training exercises involving several NATO member states in the region.
Прэс-сакратар Пэнтагону Джон КірбіПрэс-сакратар Пэнтагону Джон Кірбі

173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. (wikipedia)

The first troops will be a company of about 150 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, currently based in the Italian city of Vicenza, the Pentagon has confirmed.

Over the coming days, more troops are scheduled to arrive in the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

"It's a very tangible representation of our commitment to our security obligations in Europe, and the message is to the people of those countries and to the alliance that we do take it seriously," said Rear Admiral John Kirby, press secretary for the Pentagon, on Tuesday.

Plans have been laid to rotate troops around the region, and Kirby noted that besides Poland and the Baltic three, other countries may also participate.

"We're looking at trying to keep this rotational presence persistent throughout the rest of this year," he added.

"And I think if there's a message to Moscow, it is the same exact message - that we take our obligations very, very seriously on the continent of Europe."

Financial aid for Ukraine

Meanwhile, US Vice President Joe Biden promised over 50 million dollars in aid to Ukraine while in Kiev on Tuesday.

Biden stressed that a 50 million-dollar package should be directed in part towards holding fair and safe presidential elections on 25 May, echoing his comments that the country needs to fight "the cancer of corruption."

Part of the funds are also intended to help Kiev curb its dependence on Russian gas. Besides the 50 million dollars, another 8 million dollars would channelled towards the Ukrainian military. (nh)

Source: TVP, AP, PAP

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