Following President Obama’s commitment of $1 billion to expand NATO’s role in Eastern Europe, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced on Thursday that the United States will be bolstering its presence in the Black Sea region.
Hagel is currently swinging through Romania, a NATO member that has urged the US to increase its presence in Eastern Europe in the wake of the Ukraine conflict and Russia’s accession of Crimea. Since then, the country has been a part of joint military exercises with American forces and has promised to increase its own defense spending.
According to Reuters, Hagel said President Obama’s $1 billion fund would allow for a “stronger presence of U.S. ships in the Black Sea,” and that the plan would mean a consistent stream of rotating vessels in the region.
“We will sustain that tempo going forward,” he added.
At the time of Hagel’s comments, he was touring a guided…
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