March 19 - Vice President Biden pledges to support Baltic allies worried by Russian aggression. Leigh Paterson reports.
After Russia's recent actions in Ukraine, and Crimea's vote to secede, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met with allies in eastern Europe to reassure them of America's commitment. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. VICE PRESIDENT, JOE BIDEN, SAYING: "I want to make it clear we stand resolutely with our Baltic allies in support of the Ukrainian people and against Russian aggression. As long as Russia continues on this dark path, they will face increasing political and economic isolation." Leaders of Lithuania and Latvia have condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for moving to annex Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite called the situation "alarming." (SOUNDBITE) (English) LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT, DALIA GRYBAUSKAITE, SAYING: "I see it as a threat not only to Ukraine, but also to the entire international community. We witness the use of brutal force to redraw the map of Europe and to undermine the post-war political architecture established in Europe." Biden aimed to reassure America's NATO allies that they would be protected in case of attack. But the Baltic nations also expressed concern about the economic impact of rising tensions in the region.