In Russia's backyard, nations look West for assurance as Biden vows US will defend NATO allies

After moving to annex Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin (POO'-tihn) insists he has no intention of invading other regions in Ukraine, much less other nations.

But leaders in Russia's backyard aren't so sure. They're looking to Vice President Joe Biden for assurances that the U.S. has a plan to prevent that from happening.

Biden meets in Vilnius on Wednesday with the leaders of Lithuania and Latvia, two small countries bordering Russia. The Baltics have suddenly been plunged into the type of eerie concern about foreign aggression they may have thought they'd left behind after the Cold War.

Biden plans to make the case that the U.S. stands ready to defend NATO allies like Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. He offered a similar message Tuesday during meetings with leaders in Poland.