U.S. troops arrive in Baltics in fresh signal to Russia

The six-month deployment is likely to reassure Baltic allies that U.S. President Donald Trump remains committed to Europe's eastern flank despite recent Pentagon cuts to European defense projects.

The troops will leave after a military exercise in spring 2020, rehearsing defense of the so-called Suwalki Gap, the only land route between the Baltic States and the rest of NATO.

Moscow says it has no intention of invading the Baltics or Poland and accuses NATO of destabilizing Europe by moving troops closer to Russia's borders.

Troops from allies including Britain, Canada, France and Germany have been rotating through fellow NATO members Poland and Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia since Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014.