U.S. tanks and military equipment arrive at a German port for deployment to Poland, part of a NATO buildup that has drawn Russia's ire. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. Hundreds of U.S. tanks and other heavy military equipment arrived at a sea port in northern Germany on Friday (January 6), from where they will shipped to Poland and eastern Europe; part of a NATO buildup that has drawn Russia's ire. The equipment will be used by some 4,000 American troops being deployed to the region, where they will be joined by Polish forces in military exercises at the end of the month. NATO says the exercises with Poland are purely defensive, but Russia's criticised it as an aggressive buildup. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEPUTY COMMANDING GENERAL OF THE U.S. ARMY IN EUROPE. MAJOR GENERAL TIMOTHY MCGUIRE, SAYING: "In terms of a message the transparency aspect is, we are letting everyone know this has been planned for quite a while, this is ongoing, it is enabling us to work with our German, our Polish, all our NATO counterparts who we work interoperability. But I maintain, the best way to maintain the peace is through preparation and so this is one here where I think everybody should realise, this is transparent and this is just showing the strength and the cohesion of the alliance and the U.S. commitment to maintain the peace on the continent." The move comes as NATO's relationship with Moscow has hit its lowest point in decades, strained by Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and the war in Syria. U.S. national security agencies have also blamed Russia for perceived meddling in the presidential election, including a series of high profile hacks said to have been aimed at bolstering President-elect Donald Trump. Canada, Britain, and Germany are also deploying up to a thousand troops each to the region. They say it's a modest number compared to the 330,000 soldiers they say Russia has amassed on its western border.