Pentagon: No Conditions Met for Deploying More US Troops to Eastern Europe Amid Ukraine Tensions
13:08 GMT 05.01.2022 (Updated: 13:09 GMT 05.01.2022)
© AP Photo / Virginia MayoA Belgian solider patrols in a temporary military zone as vehicles arrive from a British naval vessel, taking part in U.S.-led war games, at the Port of Antwerp in Antwerp, Belgium, Monday Feb. 3, 2020. The Defender-Europe 2020 exercises will involve approximately 20,000 American troops; the biggest deployment of U.S.-based soldiers to Europe in 25 years.
© AP Photo / Virginia Mayo
The US and its European allies have been expressing concerns since the end of 2021 regarding the alleged Russian troop buildup near the border with Ukraine. Even though Moscow has repeatedly dismissed allegations that it might invade its neighbour, the US warned it will impose harsh sanctions on Russia if it happens.
The US has no plans to send additional forces to Eastern Europe due to tensions around Ukraine and the alleged presence of Russian troops on its border, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby has stated.
According to him, one of two conditions must be met for that to happen: either an invasion of Ukraine by Russia takes place or one of America's NATO partners requests deployment of extra US forces. Kirby said that neither had happened so far.
"There's been no request for changes to posture or request for additional capabilities by our NATO allies".
Kirby elaborated on the matter when responding to a question regarding Washington's contingency plans aimed at supporting its NATO partners in the event Russia takes aggressive actions against Ukraine – something that Moscow has repeatedly ruled out. The Pentagon spokesman refused to speculate on what troops might be deployed if the "invasion" takes place.
The US National Security Council earlier revealed that Washington had discussed with Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden possible punishments that might be imposed on Russia if it invades Ukraine. The speculations regarding the possible "invasion" have been circulated by the US and officials from other NATO member states ever since claims emerged last year in the media that Russia had amassed troops near the Ukrainian border.
The Kremlin has on several occasions rejected any claims that it plans to invade its neighbour and stressed that it poses no threat to any country. Russia underscored that it has the right to move the nation's troops within its own borders as it sees fit. A significant portion of tje troops deployed in the country's west was withdrawn in December 2021 after military drills there had concluded, with a similar scenario taking place in the spring of the same year, which also included hysteria in the US media being whipped up.
31 December 2021, 07:37 GMT
Moscow further underscored that the nation's troops remain within its own territory, unlike NATO forces that have been gradually approaching Russia's borders and even trying to violate its airspace during routine patrol flights by military aviation.
The tensions around Ukraine prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden to hold several rounds of virtual talks in December 2021 to discuss various issues. These issues included allegations of the planned Russian invasion in Ukraine and NATO's eastward expansion towards Russia's borders. The two presidents also agreed to hold extensive security talks in January 2022 to address the tensions around Ukraine, including NATO's plans to invite it into the alliance and deploy troops right next to Russia's borders – something that Vladimir Putin described as a direct threat to the country's national security.