Vice President Joe Biden is heading to Europe to send a clear signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin about his intervention in Ukraine.
Biden leaves Monday evening for Warsaw, where he'll meet Tuesday with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and President Bronislaw Komorowski. He'll meet separately with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.
In Lithuania, Biden plans to meet with President Dalia Grybauskaite and Latvia's President Andris Berzins.
The meetings with the NATO allies are part of a broader U.S. campaign to persuade Putin to back off in Ukraine. As Biden was preparing to leave for Europe, Putin recognized Crimea's independence and the U.S. imposed the most comprehensive sanctions against Russian officials since the Cold War.
Latvia and Estonia share borders with Russia, and Poland and Lithuania are nearby.