US frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50) has entered the Black Sea, according to the US Navy, as the Pentagon announces plans to dispatch some 600 troops to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia for military exercises.
The stationing of NATO troops in Latvia, which is being advocated by some politicians, would be a foreign invasion similar to the invitation of Soviet troops in 1940, which led to the eventual takeover of the country, a popular Latvian politician says.
Crimea is being used as pretext to increase Western defense budgets, although what’s happened there really has little impact on the vital national interests of NATO-members, security analyst Charles Shoebridge told RT.
Following the signing of the treaty of accession of Crimea and Sevastopol into the Russian Federation, there has been an outspoken backlash and threats from key G7 members, who are organizing a meeting next week.
Latvian government has prohibited its ministers from taking part in the annual march of Waffen-SS veterans and their supporters in Riga. About 1,500 people attended the event, which has been held in the Latvian capital for nearly two decades.
NATO has begun wargames in Poland as recently dispatched US jets are set to take part in the exercises. Poor weather has delayed naval maneuvers in the Black Sea, with the US saying both drills were planned before the outbreak of unrest in Ukraine.
The world’s largest military alliance seems annoyed about Russia’s “lack of transparency” over military drills at a very “delicate time.” NATO, however, has its own long history of war games all over the globe.
Latvia has celebrated the New Year by joining the eurozone, becoming the 18th member of the Europe-wide currency bloc. However, recent opinion polls show that a majority of Latvians oppose the move, with just one-fifth strongly in favor.
The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed media reports on the deployment of short-range Iskander missiles in the country’s west, near its borders with the Baltic states and NATO members, saying that it does not violate international agreements.