WASHINGTON -- Envoys from six European countries that border Russia have pushed for more U.S. military and economic support, as they repeated warnings to U.S. senators about an increasingly aggressive Russia.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, speaking after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, told the U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee on March 7 that he had been assured of U.S. support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia-backed separatists.
Lithuanian Ambassador Rolandas Krisciunas pointed to new U.S. and NATO military deployments in the three Baltic states, saying the deployments were essential to deter Russian aggression.
U.S. armored brigades have begun deploying to Poland, and other NATO members are sending battalions of between 800 to 1,200 troops to each of the three Baltic states and Poland.
"Uncertainty and insecurity best describes the current environment we are in," Polish Ambassador Piotr Wilczek told the panel.
"The threat of Russian subversive measures has expanded far beyond the flank of Eastern Europe," Estonian Ambassador Eerik Marmei, said. "We as neighbors in Russia are a just bit more used to witnessing this behavior" than you are.
David Bakradze, the Georgian ambassador to the United States, also testified at the Senate subcommittee.
Senator Lindsay Graham, the Republican chairman of the subcommittee and longtime critic of Russian policies, said Washington wanted a better relationship with Russia.
But Graham said "that will never be achieved so long Russia continues trying to drive democracy into the ground."