June 3 - President Barack Obama promises support for eastern European allies in the wake of Russia's intervention in Ukraine. Nathan Frandino reports.
President Barack Obama arrived in Poland on Tuesday with a clear mission: reassure eastern European allies of his commitment to the region. On the first of a four-day European trip, Obama promised continued support in the face of Russia's actions in Ukraine. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT, BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "Given the situation in Ukraine right now, we've also increased our American presence. We've begun rotating additional ground troops and F-16 aircraft into Poland. And this is going to help our forces train together, it is going to help our forces support NATO air missions." After visiting with U.S. and Polish air men and women, the president continued his tour with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski. Poland and some of its NATO neighbors have been seeking troops on the ground in light of the Ukraine crisis. However, a big increase in U.S. forces could prompt Moscow to take similar actions. At a later news conference, Obama announced plans for supporting and training armed forces in the region. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "I'm calling on Congress to approve up to 1 billion dollars to support this effort, which will be a powerful demonstration of America's unshakable commitment to our NATO allies." Obama said that while maintaining sanctions against Russia, the U.S. still wants good relations. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "We recognize that Russia has legitimate interests in what happens along its borders and has a long historical relationship with Ukraine, but we also believe that the principles of territorial integrity and sovereignty have to be respected, that Russia has violated them." Obama will continue his tour in Belgium and France.