Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) US President Joe Biden has approved additional military deployment to eastern Europe, bolstering the country’s NATO allies in the region as tensions with Russia continue to ramp up.
After the US military put some 8,500 troops on alert, with orders to be ready to deploy to Europe on short notice if needed, Biden today ordered the first deployment of some 2,000 troops.
A US official told Reuters that the 2,000 troops will be arriving in Poland and Germany this week, and that the troop movement is to be followed by repositioning 1,000 troops from Germany to Romania, a NATO ally which, like Poland, also shares a land border with Ukraine.
The ready-to-deploy order issued last week was reportedly given to a wide variety of combat specialists, including brigade combat teams, logistics personnel, medical support, aviation support, and troop forces involved with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
Russia has so far deployed around 120,000 troops near its border with Ukraine, with western analysts concerned that Moscow might attempt a full-scale invasion of its southern neighbour. Moscow has deployed some of these troops to Belarus, claiming they were to participate in joint drills with the Belarus military, and to the annexed Crimea peninsula, controlled by Russia since 2014.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin denies Moscow has any plans to invade Ukraine, but he is refusing to remove his troops from the border until NATO agrees to a series of concessions. These include guarantees never to accept Ukraine as a member, removal of all its troops and materiel from countries which were not NATO members prior to 1997, meaning from most of the newer, eastern European members.