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Biden in Lithuania for talks with Baltic leaders

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JOSH LEDERMAN | March 18, 2014 02:12 PM EST | AP


VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden has arrived in Lithuania to reassure Baltic leaders that the U.S. is committed to defending its NATO allies in the face of Russia's intervention in Crimea.

Biden flew to Vilnius late Tuesday from Poland. While in the capital of Warsaw, Biden met with Poland's president and prime minister, plus the leader of Estonia.

He'll meet Wednesday in Vilnius with the Lithuanian president, Dalia Grybauskaite, and Latvia's president, Andris Berzins.

Moscow signed a treaty Tuesday adding Crimea to the map of Russia, but the U.S. isn't recognizing that move. Biden says the U.S. commitment to defending allies under the NATO treaty is, in his words, "ironclad."

Ukraine isn't a NATO member, but Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are members. All four share borders with Russia.