(RT) Vilnius has confirmed that an American Special Forces contingent is stationed in Lithuania to bolster the training of the Baltic state’s own commandos and to serve as a deterrence against potential “Russian aggression.”

“The United States was the first to offer additional safety assurance measures to the Baltic countries following the deterioration of the security situation in the region after the annexation of the Crimea,” Defense Ministry spokeswoman Asta Galdikaite said Tuesday after an earlier New York Times report which broke the news.

In its Sunday’s article, the NYT claimed that dozens of US Special Operations Forces are already training troops in the Baltic states which, as the newspaper puts it, are “confronting a looming threat from Russia.” The US contingent is also engaged in enhancing the “Americans’ ability to detect Moscow’s shadowy efforts to destabilize the former Soviet republics.”

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