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 US hardware in eastern Europe "proportionate response" to Russia, - NATO's Gottemoeller

The deployment of American tanks and fighting vehicles to Central and Eastern Europe is a proportionate response to Russia's aggressive actions toward the Baltic countries and NATO as a whole.

NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller said during a visit to Lithuania, Censor.NET reports citing The Baltic Times.

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She said NATO is concerned about the continued build-up of Russian forces and Moscow's actions in Ukraine, but it did not see an immediate threat for its member states

According to the U.S. diplomat, NATO has an interest in dialogue with Russia in terms of reducing risks of incidents.

"What the NATO alliance is doing, we always emphasize, is proportionate and measured and defensive," she noted.

"There was no plan for U.S. armor to come back to Europe before Russia's threatening behavior toward the Baltic states, toward the NATO alliance as a whole, and that build-up that has been occurring that I referred to a moment ago as well as their seizure of Crimea," Gottemoeller said. "NATO is proceeding in a very also deliberate way, and not hurrying into anything."

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She stresses U.S. hardware is back to Europe in response to Russia's actions.

"I do want to emphasize that it is proportionate and measured because I've seen some of the Russian reporting that this is a hurried operation, this is somehow also bringing a lot of armor back to Europe but it's in truth is 3,500 personnel, 87 tanks, and 144 Bradley fighting vehicles. This is an important step but it is meant for deterrence and defense," Gottemoeller concluded.
   
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