The US has decided to increase the security of its allies, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The Baltic countries are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). These countries have had complicated relationships with Russia. Next month, the Kremlin will begin the Zapad war games that will take place in Belarus, in the west of Russia, and Kaliningrad. NATO countries have felt uncomfortable because they believe these Military Exercises are an aggressive behavior by Russians, but the Kremlin states that this is just for defensive purposes.

Seven American F15-C fighter planes landed at Siauliai to monitor the skies of the Baltic nations. The security controls in the area by the US military have been increased since the crisis in Crimea in 2014.

The Baltic nations depend on NATO

Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia don't operate their own fighter planes, and they depend on NATO for patrols. Vytautas Umbrasas, the Lithuanian Deputy Defense Minister, stated that they are increasing their air police while Zapad takes place. They are also happy that there are 600 American airborne troops there. The top US Air Force commander in Europe, Tod Walters, stated that the number of fighter planes had been increased because of the training opportunities.

He preferred not to mention the Russian war games. He also said that the goal of the air policing is protecting the skies of the Baltic nations.

More details about Zapad

The Kremlin states that close to 13,000 Russian and Belarussian soldiers will take place in the military exercises, Zapad. Besides, 70 helicopters and planes, plus 700 pieces of military hardware that include artillery, rockets, and tanks will take part in the exercises.

The top US general in Europe, Ben Hodges, stated that the American allies in Eastern Europe and Ukraine are worried by Zapad. They believe this military exercises could be a Trojan horse whose purpose is to leave behind the military hardware brought to Belarus.

Russians on Zapad

A Russian state official declared that there is no basis to say that the purpose of Zapad is to invade Poland, Ukraine, or Lithuania.

The deputy defense minister, Alexander Fomin, stated that comments about a possible invasion of those countries are just myths. The United States will have three military exercises while Zapad takes place, they will be in Ukraine, Poland, and Sweden. An American armored brigade has already been deployed in Europe.