Updates: 24.01.2022 08:03
Washington – US President Joe Biden is considering sending warships, planes and up to 5,000 troops to the Baltics and other countries in eastern Europe due to growing fears of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The New York Times (NYT) wrote today, referring to unnamed members of the Biden administration. Such a move would go exactly against Moscow’s security requirements and would mean a shift in the US strategy, which so far aimed to avoid confrontation and provocation, the paper writes. However, the US government is still not considering sending its own troops directly to Ukraine in the event of a conflict.
Biden and his advisers discussed various options for the next steps after Russian President Vladimir Putin intensified his threats against Ukraine and diplomatic talks apparently did not force him to reconsider his position.
One of the measures discussed would be sending 1,000 to 5,000 troops to the Baltics and Eastern European countries. Should the security situation deteriorate significantly later, the US presence in the region could increase up to tenfold relatively quickly.
Biden will probably decide on the matter earlier this week. Strengthening the presence of US troops in NATO’s eastern countries is exactly what Russia is trying to prevent. The withdrawal of Western troops from the eastern wing of the North Atlantic Alliance is one of Putin’s security demands, which he recently put forward for NATO members to negotiate.
Biden said last week that he had warned Putin of the possibility of increasing the US military presence in the area if Russia continued to provoke Ukraine. “If he really decides to move, we will increase the presence of our troops in Poland, Romania, etc.,” the US president said at the time.
According to the Polish Ministry of Defense, there are now about 4,000 American soldiers in the country and another thousand members of the armies of other NATO countries. There are now about 4,000 Allied troops in the Baltics.
Over the weekend, the United States ordered the families of US embassy staff in Ukraine to leave the country due to the impending Russian invasion. According to the NYT, this is a common measure taken in the event of fears of a possible crisis.
Russia has deployed tens of thousands of troops at its borders with Ukraine and now also in Belarus. Kiev and some Western countries claim that Moscow is preparing for an invasion of Ukraine and that it is preparing provocations that should justify a similar operation. Russia, which annexed the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula in 2014, but denies planning an attack on its neighbor.
Friday’s meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who discussed the situation in Ukraine in Geneva, did not ease growing tensions.
Source: České noviny – hlavní události by www.ceskenoviny.cz.
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