US troops land in Lithuania amid Ukraine crisis

Members of the U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade attend a welcome ceremony upon their arrival at a Lithuanian air force base in Siauliai, Lithuania, Saturday, April 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

US troops arrived Saturday in Lithuania, part of a US contingent of 600 sent to the region to reassure NATO allies amid the escalating Ukraine crisis.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite hailed the arrival of American forces as a "deterrence measure" in the region where alarm has risen over Russia's actions in Ukraine.

"We know in this situation who our real friends are coming to help," Grybauskaite told reporters, after around 150 troops from the 173rd Airborne Brigade landed at the Siauliai air base.

"If any of our guests are injured, it would mean an open confrontation not with Lithuania but with the United States," she added.

The American troops will participate in a series of exercises throughout the year, according to the Lithuanian defence ministry.

Another company of soldiers arrived in Poland on Wednesday and in Latvia on Friday and a further 150 are due in Estonia on Monday.

Washington on Tuesday said it was sending the 600 troops to the region to increase its presence in the region and reassure its NATO allies and partners.

NATO has also stepped up air patrols over the Baltic states which spent five decades under Soviet occupation until 1991 and joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in 2004.





Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here