Vice President Joe Biden reassured America’s NATO allies the US will defend them if Russia decides to attack. Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine and three NATO countries, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, who border Russia, believe they might be Russia’s next target.
“Russia cannot escape the fact that the world is changing and rejecting outright their behavior,” Biden said, after meeting in Vilnius with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and Latvian President Andris Berzins.
“We’re in this with you, together,” Biden said.
Biden was in Poland on Tuesday and he told Prime Minister Donald Tusk the US would provide military assistance and help lessen the country’s dependence on Russian gas. Poland’s ambassador to America was one of four who asked the US to export natural gas in case Russia decides to turn off the gas to Europe. Last week the US sent 300 air troops and 12 F-16 fighters to Poland.
The West passed more sanctions against Russia on Monday, but it did not appear to work. In fact, the Russian deputy prime minister went on Twitter and openly laughed at President Obama. Russia President Vladimir Putin also said Russia would impose their own sanctions against American officials.
Putin said he would not invade east Ukraine or other countries, but the leaders do not believe him.
“This situation is a direct threat to our regional security,” Grybauskaite said, denouncing “the use of brutal force to redraw the map of Europe.”
Aleksandr Veshnyakov, Russia’s ambassador to Latvia, brought the country to their toes when he told a radio station Russia would provide Russian citizenship to ethnic Russians in the country. Latvia immediately voiced concern they would be Putin’s next target.