Top NATO official: US troops in Poland is ‘proportionate’

Poland US Troops_505988

U.S. Army vehicles cross the Polish border in Olszyna, Poland, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 heading for their new base in Zagan. First U.S. troops arrive in Zagan in western Poland as part of deterrence force of some 1,000 troops to be based here and reassure Poland that is worried about Russia’s activity. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — A top NATO official says the deployment of US troops in Poland at Russia’s doorstep is a “proportionate and measured” move.

In an interview published Friday by the Baltic News Service, NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller acknowledged that Russians “are concerned about what NATO is doing.”

American soldiers rolled into Poland Thursday in the first deployment of U.S. troops since the fall of communism in 1989 as a deterrent against Russia, which annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. The Baltic Sea region also feels threatened by Russia’s recent nearby deployment of nuclear-capable missiles.

Gottemoeller says the alliance has “some interest in dialogue” with the Russians.

Gottemoeller was in Lithuania for a two-day informal security policy meeting.

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