US Troop Boost In EU
June 3, 2014 by staff
US Troop Boost In EU, President Barack Obama pledged Tuesday to boost U.S. military deployments and exercises throughout Europe, an effort costing as much as $1 billion to demonstrate American solidarity with a continent rattled by Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.
But even as Obama warned that Moscow could face further punishments, leaders of Britain, France and Germany were lining up to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at week’s end.
Those one-on-one meetings would appear to send a mixed message about the West’s approach to relations with Russia, given that the same leaders are also boycotting a summit Putin had been scheduled to host this week.
Obama does not plan to hold a formal meeting with Putin while both attend events Friday marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion that hastened the end of World War II, though the two leaders are likely to have some interaction. The U.S. president suggested there was no contradiction between efforts to isolate Russia and engaging directly with Putin.
“The fact of the matter is that Russia is a significant country with incredibly gifted people, resources, an enormous land mass, and they rightfully play an important role on the world stage and in the region,” Obama said during a news conference with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski. He added that it could be possible for Putin to “rebuild some of the trust that’s been shattered during this past year” but said that would take time.
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