US Planning To Send 1,000-5,000 Troops To Counter Russian Threat: Report

The United States may deploy at least 1,000 to 5,000 troops to eastern Europe and the Baltic nations as the chances of an incursion into Ukraine led by Russia continues to grow, according to a report by news agency New York Times. The report also said that the Biden administration is thinking of increasing the number tenfold depending on how the situation evolves. It is mulling to send warships and aircrafts to these nations – which are also its NATO allies – as Russia remains undeterred after several rounds of diplomatic discussions.

The decision regarding the deployment of the troops might be announced later this week, people familiar with the developments told the New York Times. The Biden administration has resisted the option of sending more troops to Ukraine itself but sending more troops to US allies and NATO members is a move aimed at containing Russian presence in eastern and southern Ukraine and in Belarus – a former Soviet nation which has sided with the Russians indirectly.

US president Joe Biden met senior Pentagon officials, US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Mark Milley and defence secretary Lloyd Austin virtually at Camp David on Sunday where they discussed options to counter Russian aggression. The national security advisor Jake Sullivan and counsellor to Biden Steve Ricchetti joined the meeting in person, according to a separate report by CNN.

Biden said last week that he warned Putin that along with severe economic consequences Russia will also see more US presence either via troops or weapons support to NATO allies like Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Russian president Vladimir Putin clearly outlined earlier during his discussions with Biden and the US officials that this is exactly the kind of situation he would like to avoid.

Russian officials during their several meetings with their American counterparts have outlined Russia’s demands – one, Russia does not want former Soviet states to join NATO, especially Ukraine and Georgia, and two, it also demanded the reduction of troops and NATO’s presence from countries like Bulgaria and Romania, also former members of the Warsaw Pact. The nations mentioned above along with NATO have lashed out at Russia for these demands.

Russia continues to claim that NATO and the US are arming these nations to destabilize the region but Russia’s fears may come true if the US chooses to bolster its presence which it claims to be doing to counter a Russian incursion in Ukraine. Tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue to increase as Russia refuses to disengage from the Russia-Ukraine border. The UK recently claimed that Russia plans to install a pro-Russian government in Ukraine. The UK also earlier this month sent arms to Ukraine to strengthen its self defence. The Baltic nations also last week sent US missiles to help Ukraine mount a response.

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