The deployment of US and NATO aviation, ships and troops raises concerns, Russia’s Chief of General Staff told his American counterpart. In a phone conversation the two also spoke of Russian military exercises and “substantial” Ukrainian troop buildup.“Our concern is caused by an increase of US air force and the American military personnel in the Baltic, Poland, and also the Alliance’s ships in the Black Sea,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement, quoting General Valery Gerasimov. NATO war games in Eastern Europe are also “not helping” to normalize the situation, Russia’s defense minister Sergey Shoigu said earlier.The first waves of US soldiers have already arrived in Poland and Latvia, after Tuesday announcement that the Pentagon is sending about 600 soldiers to Poland and the three Baltic states for infantry exercises. “If there’s a message to Moscow, it is the same exact message that we take our obligations very, very seriously on the continent of Europe,” Defense Department spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said at the time.
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