US to keep forces in Europe to bolster NATO defenses

imgThe United States will keep extra forces in Europe to bolster NATO defenses and monitor new movements of Russian tanks in east Ukraine as a cease-fire deadline approaches, officials said Thursday.
“We are concerned about reports that the fighting continues,” said a senior Obama administration official. “We are also concerned about reports of new heavy weapons transferred into Ukraine.”
The movement of Russian tanks, if it constitutes a last-minute land grab prior to the cease-fire, “would seriously undercut this agreement,” the official said.
In the last week, the Pentagon has announced several moves to shift resources to the region. On Saturday, it announced that the Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Cole entered the Black Sea to conduct patrols “in light of the ongoing Russian intervention in Ukraine.”
U.S. Army Europe would train Ukraine’s National Guard forces, who are assigned to protect the country’s infrastructure, “to strengthen Ukraine’s internal defense capabilities.”

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