Obama says Nordic States determined to maintain anti-Russian sanctions
While meeting with President Barack Obama, the leaders of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden agreed on Friday on the need to maintain sanctions against Russia, according to The International Business Times (IBTimes).
"The United States and the Nordic countries are concerned by Russia's growing military presence in the Baltic Sea region, its nuclear posturing, its undeclared exercises and the provocative actions taken by Russian aircraft and naval vessels," read a joint statement issued from a summit at the White House on Friday, IBTimes wrote.
"We call on Russia to ensure that its military maneuvers and exercises are in full compliance with its international obligations and commitments to security and stability," it said.
Read alsoUK Defense Ministry: Royal Air Force Typhoons intercept Russian aircraft near BalticsDuring the summit, Denmark and Norway said they were ready to work with the U.S. and the NATO military and political alliance for an "enhanced allied forward presence."
NATO is scheduled to meet in Warsaw in July and is likely to discuss stationing more troops in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe in order to deter Russian aggression.
Read alsoGreece begins ferrying migrants to Turkey under EU dealDuring the summit, Obama and the Nordic leaders also discussed the refugee crisis in Europe as well as the fight against the Islamic State group. In contrast to the many challenging summits in recent months, the meeting with Nordic leaders was full of praise and agreement.
Russia's recent aggressive actions have left its Nordic neighbors worried, IBTimes said.
In April, Russian military aircraft buzzed U.S. ships and aircraft in Europe, further raising concerns over the Kremlin's intentions.
In Ukraine, Russia illegally annexed Crimea in March 2014 and waged an ensuing war in Donbas, the east of Ukraine, which has left more than 9,300 people dead.