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US - NATO plan to defend Baltics against Russia - Wikileaks

RIA Novosti

12:39 07/12/2010

MOSCOW, December 7 (RIA Novosti) - NATO drew up plans in January to defend the Baltic states against Russia, the latest batch of leaked U.S. cables released by Wikileaks show.

"On January 22, NATO's Military Committee agreed to expand Eagle Guardian, the Alliance's contingency plan for the reinforcement and defense of Poland, to also include the defense and reinforcement of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania," the cable, published on Monday in the Guardian, read.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentions the plan in another cable released on Monday and stresses that it must be kept secret.

"We see the expansion of Eagle Guardian as a step toward the possible expansion of NATO's other existing country-specific contingency plans into regional plans," the cable said.

In May 2010, following the U.S. - Polish Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), the United States opened a temporary military base near the northern Polish town of Morag , 80 km (50 miles) from the Russian border. The base, which will become permanent from 2012, will deploy U.S. Patriot missiles and Standard Missile interceptor SM-3s.

Moscow was angered by the base's proximity to the Russian Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad.

Britain received an arrest warrant for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on Monday. The whistleblower, who is wanted in Sweden on rape allegations, agreed on Tuesday to meet with British police to discuss the warrant.

Assange's lawyers fear that from Sweden, Asssange could be extradited to the United States, where he could face death penalty for violation of the Espionage Act of 1917.

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