Intuitively, it seems to me that this news of Russia sending 100,000 troops to the eastern edge of NATO territory — while relations with the U.S. continue to worsen — will prove to be a significant development later on. World powers with nuclear weapons would ideally have better cooperation than is currently the case. There’s also already excessive tensions around the NATO border, and U.S. military intervention there may make matters worse.
In Russia, State Department staff said Monday they were barred from retrieving their personal items from a property used by U.S. diplomats on the outskirts of Moscow, as Russia’s government struck back against a move by the U.S. Congress to ratchet up sanctions on Russia. President Vladimir Putin has ordered 755 U.S. staff to withdraw from the diplomatic missions in Moscow and elsewhere. Meanwhile, Russia said it would send up to 100,000 troops to the eastern edge of NATO territory by the end of summer, and stepped up ongoing military maneuvers. The tensions came as Vice President Mike Pence continued a tour of former Soviet states, threatening retaliation against any Russian aggression.
Pence later traveled to the former Soviet republic of Georgia, where he promised U.S. support for Georgia’s territorial integrity. In 2008, Russian forces invaded the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.