Russia gave the United States a disparaging snub this past July 4 when it sent long-range bombers off the coasts of both Alaska and California, followed by a congratulatory letter to President Obama.
The move is meant to reassure NATO allies in eastern Europe that the U.S. stands behind them. But it comes a year late.
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.
The House passed resolution Monday that urges President Obama to provide Ukraine with military assistance in its struggle against Russia. The measure was well received in Ukraine.
One year ago, the Russian Federation annexed Crimea. Wednesday, Vladimir Putin celebrated the anniversary with a rally in downtown Moscow to culminate days of celebration nationwide. Bands played, crowds of more than 100,000 people gathered in patriotic fervor, and Putin sang Russia's national anthem.