05:46 GMT +317 October 2019
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    In this photo taken Sunday, June 5, 2016 security personnel of the US Navy guard USS Carter Hall keep watch during the multinational Baltops naval exercise on the Baltic Sea

    US Committed to Permanent Presence in Baltic States - European Command Chief

    © AP Photo / Jari Tanner
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    The United States is committed to maintaining a permanent military presence in the Baltic states as necessary, US European Command commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti told the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Scaparrotti explained he had just returned from a trip to the Baltic nations.

    "In every country they asked for a permanent presence of US forces…and we’re committed to that as long as these conditions exist," Scaparrotti said.

    The EUCOM commander characterized the current deployment of US forces in the region as "rotational but enduring."

    NATO has been steadily building its military presence in Central and Eastern Europe ever since 2014, using alleged Russian aggression as a pretext. Russia has repeatedly voiced its protest against the increased number of NATO troops near its borders.    

    During the last NATO summit in July, NATO resolved to strengthen its military presence in Eastern Europe on a rotational basis with four battalions in Poland and in the Baltic nations. During the 2014 summit, NATO established a 5,000-strong Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in response to the alleged Russian threat.  

    NATO military presence, military presence, US European Command (EUCOM), Curtis Scaparrotti, Baltic Region, United States
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