By Jonny Tickle
The US is considering sending troops to Eastern Europe in case the situation over Ukraine escalates, the White House said on Monday, warning that the American military could be mobilized.
Speaking at a press briefing, spokeswoman Jen Psaki responded to a journalist asking whether President Joe Biden’s government has an “active plan to deploy American forces” in Europe. The question came as tensions on the frontier between Russia and Ukraine continue to rise, with the Kremlin accused of building up troops near the border.
“What happened – if you look back post-2014 – is a lot of these NATO partner countries were looking for reassurance, were looking to plus-up the presence there, were looking for, you know, additional rotational deployments. And certainly, that is on the table should Russia decide to invade Ukraine,” Psaki explained.
Her comments come less than a week after Biden said that the White House has no plans to send American troops to Ukraine.
“The idea that the United States is going to unilaterally use force to confront Russia invading Ukraine is not in the cards right now,” Biden told reporters, noting that Kiev is not a member of NATO and, therefore, Washington does not have an obligation to defend it.
The suggestion that the US should send troops to Eastern Europe comes amid fears that Russia is building up its military presence on the Ukrainian border ahead of an invasion. Moscow has repeatedly denied these accusations.
“We have stated at various levels, time and again, that Russia is not going to attack anyone and harbors no aggressive plans,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last month. “It is utterly wrong to claim the opposite, and it is utterly wrong to associate any Russian troop movements on the territory of our country with such plans. This is not so.”