Several hundred U.S. troops were deployed in Poland and the
three Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia earlier
this year after Russia seized Ukraine's Crimea region in March.
The deployment was part of Washington's efforts to reassure the
nervous eastern European allies that NATO would offer protection
from any Russian threat.
Originally planned until the end of this year, the "persistent
presence" mission of overlapping units on rotation is going to
continue, Lieutenant-General Frederick Ben Hodges, Commanding
General of U.S. Army Europe told reporters in the Lithuanian
"We have planned rotations out through next year. Units are
designated that will continue to do this", Hodges said.
"There are going to be U.S. Army forces here in Lithuania, as
well as Estonia and Latvia and Poland for as long as is required
to deter Russian aggression and to assure our allies," he said.
All three Baltic states used to be part of the Soviet Union.
Permanent stationing of U.S. and other units in the Baltics and
Poland remains off the table, in part due to concerns this would
breach a 1997 Russia-NATO agreement.
(Reporting by Andrius Systas; Editing by Johan Ahlander and
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