Delegations from the European Union, United Nations, 6-7 nations, global investors and businesses met in Kiev, Ukraine on Tuesday for an international conference to discuss cooperation in financial support, trade and national security measures for that country.
The number of Ukrainian civilians now displaced due to conflict in eastern Ukraine now exceeds 800,000, according to a recent report UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. As the ceasefire with Russian separatists in the region remains shaky, militaries in the Baltic states are bracing themselves for more Russian aggression.
With tension high in the Baltic States over the possibility of a Russian invasion, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves has called for a permanent NATO force to be stationed in the state to preempt Russian aggression.
Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted a ban on shipping S-300 air defense missile systems to the Islamic Republic of Iran on Monday morning. Moscow will also begin importing Iranian oil in exchange for other goods.
As the conflict in Ukraine continues and tension rises in the Baltics, the Pentagons proposed 2016 budget significantly cuts funding for U.S. military programs in the Eastern European region.
In response to increasingly aggressive Russian military moves, Lithuania announced Friday that it will increase defense spending by one third -- more than the nation has allocated to defense since becoming a NATO member in 2004.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) met with Ukrainian officials in Kiev Monday.