Biden to deploy troops to Eastern Europe amid Ukraine standoff

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has approved the deployment of additional U.S. troops to Eastern Europe, NBC News confirmed Wednesday.

“At the president’s direction and following Secretary [Lloyd] Austin’s recommendation, the Department of Defense will reposition certain Europe-based units further east, forward deploy additional U.S.-based units to Europe, and maintain the heightened state of readiness of response forces to meet these commitments,” a senior administration official said.

U.S. Airmen in Estonia
U.S. Airmen arrive at Amari Air Base, Estonia, Jan. 24, 2022.Staff Sgt. Megan Beatty/Air Force Photo / via Reuters file

“These forces are not going to fight in Ukraine. They are not permanent moves. They respond to current conditions,” the official added.

Two thousand soldiers in the U.S. will go to Poland and Germany, joining other troops already there, and 1,000 troops in Europe will go to Romania, to reinforce U.S. troops there, the official said.

CNN was first to report the deployment of additional troops.

The announcement comes a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said the U.S. and its allies have ignored Russia’s key security demands as his country has amassed more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border. Last month, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin placed 8,500 U.S. troops on “heightened alert” to assist with the defense of NATO allies.

Biden said Friday that he planned to move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe and NATO countries “in the near term.” The president did not elaborate on the exact timing and did not specify the exact number, saying that it would be “not a lot.”

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