- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 6, 2014

The United States has ordered a dozen F-16 fighter gets to Poland and a guided-missile destroyer to the Black Sea in moves that are being billed as “scheduled” deployments — but that nonetheless come amid heightening tensions in the region, from Russia-Crimea relations.

The Navy said that the USS Truxtun is leaving Greece for “previously planned” training exercise with naval forces from Romania and Bulgaria, Fox News reported. Yet the ship’s travels are coming at a time when NATO has bolstered its presence in the area as a defensive maneuver aimed at countering Russian military aggression, the media outlet said.

The USS Truxtun is going to detach from its USS George W. Bush strike group that’s now stationed in Mediterranean waters, Fox News said.

The deployments also come at a time when the White House has pushed forward with sanctions against Russia, and the State Department has issued a scathing response to President Vladimir Putin’s insistence that his military deployment to the Ukraine region was to help out ethnic Russians in Crimea.

“There are no confirmed reports of threats to ethnic Russians,” said one deputy assistant in the State Department, Eric Rubin, as reported by Fox News.


SEE ALSO: Obama slaps Putin with sanctions, restrictions on visas

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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