Biden: U.S. Could Exploit NATO’s Article 5 For War Against Russia
Xinhua News Agency
March 19, 2014
U.S. reaffirms military protection in Baltics
VILNIUS: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden reaffirmed U.S. military protection of the Baltic region during a meeting on Wednesday with the presidents of Lithuania and Latvia.
Biden stressed the U.S. would respond to any aggression on NATO allies under its Article 5 during his meeting with Dalia Grybauskaite and Andris Berzins, presidents of the two Baltic countries.
He reaffirmed collective defense commitment of the U.S. under NATO which includes all the Baltic countries to shore up the region’s security amid the Ukraine crisis.
“We see that the United States is immediately responding to the situation and taking all necessary actions to ensure regional security. The augmented NATO air policing mission in Zokniai is one of such examples,” said Grybauskaite.
More ground and naval military drills and training will be considered in the Baltic region, Biden added.
A diversified and flexible energy market for the Baltics is also supported by the U.S., according to Biden.
During his meeting with president of Poland the previous day, Biden underscored new opportunities for military training and exercises through NATO in Poland.
The missile defense plans continued on schedule, including placing an operational missile defense site in Poland by 2018, he added.
Six F-15 fighter jets and one KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft sent by the U.S. arrived at the Lithuanian Air Force Aviation Base in Siauliai on March 6, adding to the four F-15s already there for the air patrol mission.
Last autumn, during a meeting between presidents of the three Baltic countries and the U.S. in Washington, a joint political declaration was signed where it was reiterated that the U.S. had a real, profound and enduring interest in the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Baltics.