About 150 American paratroops arrived in Poland Wednesday, a day after the U.S. announced that it will deploy approximately 600 troops to Poland and the Baltics. The other 450 soldiers are being sent to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, and are expected to arrive by April 28, according to Stars and Stripes.

U.S. presence in eastern Europe will be a long-term affair
The news source reported that Witold Waszczykowski, a Polish diplomat, hopes this will be the first of many steps to bolster the security of Poland and its neighboring countries. In the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea, the U.S. has deployed fighter jets to monitor Poland and the Baltics, but the dispatch of American paratroops marks the first instance of U.S. military presence on eastern European soil. Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby noted that the troops will partake in training exercises that will continue for the remainder of the year and possibly longer.

"Russia's aggression in Ukraine has renewed our resolve to strengthening NATO's defense plans and capabilities, and to demonstrate our continued commitment to collective defense in reinforcing our NATO allies in central and eastern Europe," said Kirby, as quoted by Stars and Stripes.

Biden calls on Russia to help defuse crisis
On the same day that the Pentagon announced the deployment of paratroops, Vice President Joe Biden visited Kiev to meet with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk. Following the meeting, Biden attended a news conference in which he called on Russia to remove its troops from its border with the Ukraine, Reuters reported. He stated that if Moscow continues to make provocative actions, the U.S. will impose further sanctions against Russia.

"No nation should threaten its neighbors by amassing troops along the border. We call on Russia to pull these forces," said Biden, as quoted by Reuters. "We have been clear that more provocative behavior by Russia will lead to more costs and to greater isolation."

Currently, Russia has about 40,000 troops stationed on Ukraine's eastern border, and U.S. officials have stated that Moscow has deployed special operatives to eastern Ukraine in their efforts to destabilize the region. The dispatch of American troops to eastern Europe is intended to enhance the security of NATO allies in light of Russia's military buildup. According to Kirby, the U.S.' move is "not insignificant," and American troops will be engaging in real infantry training.