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    A member of US Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment raises the US flag on a Stryker vehicle during the ''Dragoon Ride'' military exercise, in Salociai some 178 kms (110 miles) north of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, March 23, 2015

    Lithuania to Relocate American Tanks to Poland

    © AP Photo / Mindaugas Kulbis
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    The relocation of US military equipment currently based in Lithuania to Poland for military exercises will begin later on Saturday, the Lithuanian National Defense Ministry said.

    VILNIUS (Sputnik) – Poland is due to host Anakonda-16 joint, multinational exercise on June 7-17. The drills will involve over 25,000 military staff from most of the NATO and partner nations.

    "The equipment will be transferred to Poland on Sunday and Monday as well," the ministry stated in a statement, adding the equipment is expected to be transferred back to Lithuania in mid-summer.

    The US military will transfer Abrams tanks and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles from the Lithuanian Armed Forces’ transport depot located in the Siauliai district municipality. The allies’ equipment will be transported by railway. The Lithuanian military police will provide its safety.

    NATO has been reinforcing its military presence in the Baltic region after the conflict in southeastern Ukraine broke out in April 2014.

    In late 2014, Washington announced plans to send 100 Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles into Eastern Europe to be based in Lithuania as a deterrent to what Washington calls Russian aggression.

    US troops have rotated in the Baltic states and Poland since the spring of 2014, performing the Operation Atlantic Resolve of the US Army. The Lithuanian Defense Ministry said that in accordance with the implementation of NATO decisions on collective defense, the US allies would remain in Lithuania as long as needed.

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    military drills, United States, Poland, Lithuania
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