Pentagon sending 3,000 troops to Eastern Europe amid Russian tensions


The U.S. Department of Defense announced on February 2 that the United States has deployed about 3,000 troops to its Eastern European allies amid ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

The deployment will include about 2,000 troops going to Germany and Poland and 1,000 cavalry traveling from Germany to Romania, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told the press on February 2. ..

Kirby said these were “not a permanent move” and the military “will not fight in Ukraine, but will ensure a strong defense of NATO allies.” He added that the military is being trained for “various missions”, including “stopping aggression.”

“In the current situation, we need to strengthen deterrence and defense against the eastern side of NATO,” Kirby said. “President Biden has made it clear that the United States will respond to the growing threat to Europe’s security and stability.”

Kirby added that the US commitment to NATO Article 5 defense remains an “iron wall.”

White House spokesman Jen Psaki said on February 1 that Britain, France, Spain, Denmark and the Netherlands all promised to send additional troops to eastern NATO countries.

Russia called the development unfounded “destructive” and argued with sharp words.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also made a new telephone exchange with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Reads from both governments showed no progress.

Russia has gathered tens of thousands of troops along the border with Ukraine and in Crimea and Belarus annexed by Russia in recent weeks. Kirby said on January 31 that the number of Russian troops at these locations, along with heavy artillery and anti-aircraft weapons, has increased as recently as last weekend.

In a series of ongoing talks between Russia and the United States, US officials have threatened to coordinate with allies to impose “severe” sanctions on Russia if Russia invades Ukraine. For weeks, the Biden administration said “other measures” could include additional defenses against Ukrainians and a NATO ally fortress on the eastern side of Russia with additional capabilities. Stated.

President Joe Biden said sending US troops to Ukraine was “off the table.”

The Pentagon announced last week that it had put 8,500 U.S. troops “ready for deployment” to support eastern NATO allies if ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine were justified. ..

US officials say the sanctions will be stricter than the sanctions imposed on Russia when it invaded the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

Saki said on January 31 that if Russia invaded Ukraine, sanctions would extend not only to Moscow’s inner individuals, but also to key parts of the financial system.

Over the weekend, at least two U.S. senators said they were approaching an agreement on a bill that would preempt Russia’s actions against Ukraine, whether or not Moscow invaded.

Russia, meanwhile, has made a request including NATO not allowing Ukraine to join the alliance.

The United States responded to these requests in writing last week. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the answer “shows a serious diplomatic path if Russia chooses it.”

Moscow then sent its own written response to the United States on Tuesday prior to an upcoming call between Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergeń≠ Viklov.

At a press conference in Kiev on January 28, Ukrainian President Wolodimir Zelensky acknowledged Russia’s escalation, but suggested to the mass media and Western leaders that Russia’s invasion was imminent. I asked him to relieve his rhetoric.

“The image that the mass media creates is that we have troops on the roads, mobilized, and people are away. It’s not,” Zelensky said. “I don’t need this panic.”

At the White House press conference on February 1, Saki traced back a previous statement stating that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “imminent.”

“I used it once. I think others have used it once, but I think it sends a message that we didn’t intend to send, so we stopped it. [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin made the decision. ” “I think most of the time I talked about it and said,’He can break in at any time.’ That’s true.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nick Ciolino

follow

Nick Ciolino covers the White House.