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Obama: US to boost military presence in Europe

Tuesday - 6/3/2014, 2:01pm  ET

WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- For the past two decades, the United States has been moving toward a smaller military presence in Europe. But an announcement today from President Barack Obama represents a significant departure from that trend.

Speaking in Poland today, Obama said the United States is preparing to boost its military presence in Europe at a cost of up to $1 billion. The announcement comes as tensions in the region simmer over Russia's aggressive actions in Ukraine.

Obama said the U.S. plans to send more military equipment and rotate additional U.S. troops into the region. He called on Congress to provide the funding.

The announcement came at the start of a three-country swing through Europe. Obama meets tomorrow with Ukraine's newly-elected president.

Obama said he wants the U.S. and Ukraine to have good relations with Russia. But in a warning to Moscow, Obama said the U.S. has contingency plans to protect every member of NATO.

At the same time, he called on other NATO members to step up by increasing their own role in the alliance's collective defense.

Obama and Russia's Vladimir Putin could cross paths later this week in France at the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Obama said today that it's possible for the U.S. to rebuild trust with Putin, but that it would take time.

%@AP Links

171-a-10-(President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters as he met with NATO leaders from eastern and central Europe and the Baltics)-"contributions they're making"-President Obama says it's clear NATO needs to ramp up resources on its eastern flank. (3 Jun 2014)

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137-w-37-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent, with President Barack Obama)--President Obama is asking Congress for an extra billion dollars to beef up NATO readiness following Russia's moves in Ukraine. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (3 Jun 2014)

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172-a-12-(President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters as he met with NATO leaders from eastern and central Europe and the Baltics)-"can take away"-President Obama says the meeting in Warsaw sends a powerful message. (3 Jun 2014)

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APPHOTO POLD116: President Barack Obama speaks as he and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, meet with Central and Eastern European Leaders in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, June 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (3 Jun 2014)

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APPHOTO POLD117: President Barack Obama shakes hands with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk after they made statements to reporters in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, June 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (3 Jun 2014)

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