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US troops arrive in Lithuania amid Ukraine crisis

U.S. soldiers arrive in Lithuania for military exercises Saturday. Washington wants to reassure its eastern European allies that NATO will protect them, should they face Russian aggression as in Ukraine. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite (dal-LEH GREE-bohsk-eye-teh) welcomed the troops at the airbase. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT, DALIA GRYBAUSKAITE, SAYING: "Today we know, that our freedom and security are a matter of utmost significance to our allies." U.S. Major General Richard Longo reiterated NATO's commitment to Lithuania's security. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. MAJOR GENERAL, RICHARD LONG, SAYING: "With our persistent presence of training soldiers. Let me make this clear: should Lithuania need NATO, I guarantee, NATO will be there." A total of 600 U.S. troops will be deployed to Poland and the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for infantry exercises. They are expected to remain in the region

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