President Joe Biden is reportedly in the final stages of determining which military units could be sent to NATO allies in an effort to deter Russia from invading Ukraine (Picture: AP)
President Joe Biden is in the ‘final stages’ of identifying which military units could be sent to Eastern Europe and its NATO allies in an effort to deter Russia from launching an attack against Ukraine.
Moscow has amassed over 100,000 troops at the Ukraine border, fueling fears of an invasion at a time where Russia and NATO appear to be in a fierce deadlock over certain demands the country has made that are nonstarters, including barring Ukraine from ever joining the organization.
In response, Biden is reportedly considering sending troops to allied countries in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, an unidentified White House official told The New York Times.
The president has the option to send anywhere between 1,000 to 5,000 troops to Eastern European countries, and that number could dramatically increase depending on how things play out in the region.
According to CNN, the Biden administration is in the ‘final stages’ of identifying which military units will be sent to the region, and is preparing orders should they decide to deploy troops.
US military options include sending bomber flights over the region, ship visits to the Black Sea and moving troops and equipment from other parts of Europe into Poland, Romania and other countries neighboring Ukraine, a defense official and senior administration official told NBC
Conversations are taking place with NATO countries that could receive US troops as part of a plan to try and deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from further escalating the situation.
While Russia encroaches on its neighboring nation, officials in Moscow have repeatedly denied planning an invasion, and blame the West for heightening tensions.
‘All this is happening not because of what we, Russia, are doing. This is happening because of what NATO, the US are doing,’ Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said during a conference call on Monday.
As Biden considers his options, the State Department called for family members of embassy employees in Kyiv to leave on Sunday. Nonemergency diplomatic employees in Ukraine were also told to leave, and regular American citizens are being told not to travel to Ukraine or Russia because of the possibility of Russian military action.
Ukraine called Washington’s move ‘premature, and US allies were split on whether to follow in suit, with the UK doing so but the EU holding out for now.
US and Russian officials have been in diplomatic talks since last week, with no breakthroughs reported, but officials have insisted the talks will continue. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday hinted at future discussions between Biden and Putin, and warned that Moscow would face a ‘swift and severe response’ if it chooses to launch an invasion.
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