600 American soldiers will be deployed to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and other allies as tension in Ukraine rises. Troops are expected to stay in Europe until the end of 2014.
The US Army troops flying to the region this week would be in place for a month and then be replaced by other American forces in an open-ended series of deployments, Kirby said.
Since the start of the Ukraine crisis, the US military has sent 12 F-16 fighter jets and aviation support teams to Poland.
“We have been clear that more provocative behavior by Russia will lead to more costs and to greater isolation,” US vice president Biden said.
Russia will respond if its interests are attacked in Ukraine, as they were in South Ossetia in 2008 which led to war with Georgia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.
“If we are attacked, we would certainly respond,” he told state-controlled RT television in an interview, AFP reported.
Update – 3:15 EDT:
First American troops arrive in Poland.