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General: Russia's 'Significant' Buildup Along Baltic Sea 'Worrisome'
pjmedia.com While the world is distracted by the scourge of ISIS, Russia is upping the ante in Eastern Europe on the heels of its invasion of Ukraine. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges of Operation Atlantic Resolve, the United States' "demonstration of continued U.S. commitment to the collective security of NATO" after Russian President Vladimir Putin's seizure of Crimea, told reporters at the Pentagon today that Russia has placed "a significant amount of capability" in the Kaliningrad area on the Baltic coast. "The most worrisome part is not just the fact that it sits between Poland and Lithuania -- two of our allies -- but it has the ability to deny access up into the Baltic Sea because of its anti-ship capability, air defense capability, electronic warfare capability as well," Hodges said. "And then, the -- the way that senior Russian officials have talked about Denmark as a nuclear target, Sweden as a nuclear target, Romania as a nuclear target -- sort of an irresponsible use of -- of the 'nuclear' word, if you will. You can understand why our allies on the eastern flank of NATO -- particularly in the Baltic region -- are nervous, are uneasy. Large snap exercises without announcement, and so on -- these put a lot of pressure on them."
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