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>> It's the largest deployment of NATO troops in the Baltics since the Cold War is underway. I am Andrew
] reporting for Reuters from Rukla, Lithuania. Over 1,000 troops, mostly German, but augmented with Dutch and Belgians, are settling into Rukla barracks. Russian army was training here only 23 years ago.
The Russian border is 100 kilometers away. The German-led battle group will soon be joined by similar battle groups in Latvia, Estonia, and Poland. All part of NATO's strategy under President Barack Obama, to deter Russia from even thinking of interfering in the region. Lithuanians are thrilled to welcome the deployment.
They see it not only as a symbol of NATO's commitment, but also as kind of trip wire, which would involve Germany immediately into any conflict in this region. This deployment is also a chance for politicians to show that it isn't just Americans who are doing the heavy lifting in NATO.
It took NATO the shock of Russia occupying parts of Ukraine to begin preparing and deploying this deterrent against Russia meddling in the former parts of its empire.