Hundreds of US armoured vehicles have been arriving in Latvia, with thousands of troops to follow.
The deployment comes amid efforts to reassure Baltic states – wary of Moscow’s intentions amid the Ukraine crisis – and after Russia’s full withdrawal from a European arms control pact, signed in 1990.
“We are disappointed by Russia’s decision to suspend the participation in the Joint Consultative Group of the Conventional Armed Forces Treaty in Europe,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Wednesday.
“We still support all efforts to have arms control and we believe that the treaty is important.”
The US deployment in Europe is part of the American army’s “Operation Atlantic Resolve”:
http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2014/0514_atlanticresolve/ aimed at demonstrating commitment to NATO allies Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, all former Soviet territories.
The Baltic states are increasingly worried about Moscow’s next move following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine.