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US deploying ground and air-attack assets to Baltic region

Washington announced it will deploy additional military troops and aircraft to several Baltic in response to Russian plans to send military personnel into eastern Ukraine to ‘maintain peace'.

“I will authorie the additional movements of US forces and equipment already stationed in Europe to strengthen our Baltic allies Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. Let me be clear, these are totally defensive moves on our part. We have no intention of fighting Russia,” US President Joe Biden said during a 22 February televised statement. “We want to send an unmistakable message that the United States, together with our allies, will defend every inch of NATO territory.”

A senior Pentagon official said that in the “coming days” a variety of ground forces and aviation elements will move from other spots inside the US European Command area of operations to NATO's northeastern and southeastern flanks. These forces include an infantry battalion task force of approximately 800 personnel from Italy to the Baltic region, a battalion of 20 AH-64 Apache helicopters from Germany to several operating locations along NATO's eastern flank, up to eight F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft from Germany to the Baltic region, and 12 AH-64 helicopters moving from Greece to Poland.

“These additional personnel are being repositioned to reassure our NATO allies, deter any potential aggression against NATO member states, and train with host-nation forces,” the senior US defence official wrote in the 22 February statement. “These moves are temporary in nature and are part of the more than 90,000 US troops already in Europe on rotational and permanent orders.”

In addition to the troop movements, Biden announced that the US would impose additional sanctions on two Russian financial institutionsVEB and Russia's military bank.

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