Tension in Baltics escalates as Russian troop presence grows

U.S. President Barack Obama met with key European and NATO allies to ask them to stand in a united front against Russia's aggression in Crimea and on the Ukrainian border.
By Aileen Graef   |   March 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM   |   Comments

March 27 (UPI) -- Tensions are on the rise in Eastern Europe as the increased number of Russian troops on the eastern Ukrainian border has led to an increased NATO response.

The number of Russian troops on the border has risen to 30,000, an increase of about 10,000 from last week. U.S. President Barack Obama said during an official trip to Brussels that while it concerns him, Russia has a right to be on Russian soil.

"Right now they are on Russian soil. And if they stay on Russian soil, we oppose what appears to be an effort at intimidation, but Russia has a right, legally, to have its troops on its own soil. I don't think it's a done deal. And I think Russia's making a series of calculations," Obama said in a press conference.

Obama has also called for all NATO nations to increase their presence in Eastern Europe. In May, Denmark will be sending 6 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine as a "signal" to the Baltic countries that NATO stands with them.

"This is a signal especially to the Baltic countries that we stand shoulder to shoulder with them and of course also a signal to Russia that we take NATO seriously." said Denmark's Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard.

[HuffPost Live]

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Topics: Barack Obama
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