BERLIN (AP) — The outgoing U.S. Army Europe commander says America's continued commitment to European security in the face of Russian aggression is in Washington's interest.

Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said Friday in Wiesbaden that the U.S. wants Russia to be "once again part of the international democratic community," according to prepared remarks.

But, he says Russia "must abide by its agreements and international law and norms and respect the sovereignty of European nations." He emphasized the importance of NATO's Eastern European deterrence missions.

Hodges says America's commitment to NATO "remains unshakable and as firm as it always has been," and that "stability and security in Europe directly affect stability, security and economic prosperity in the United States."

Advertisement

Hodges' deputy, Maj. Gen. Timothy McGuire, becomes acting commander until a permanent replacement is confirmed.