US sending troops to Eastern Europe

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A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III from the 97th Air Mobility Wing plane drops paratroopers during an exercise over the NATO airbase in Aviano, Italy. FILE
The United States is sending about 600 soldiers to Poland and the three Baltic states for infantry exercises, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, one of its highest-profile steps yet to reassure NATO allies after Russia\’s seizure of Crimea.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said 150 paratroopers based in Italy will arrive Wednesday in Poland. He said another 450 paratroopers will be deployed to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.
The bilateral exercises will last about a month. He said new troops will then rotate in for fresh exercises throughout the rest of the year.
Kirby said placing troops on the ground is more than a symbolic gesture. He called for Russia to remove its forces from the border with Ukraine and respect Ukrainian sovereignty.
Source: Agencies

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