US willing to increase troops in Eastern Europe if Russia attacks Ukraine

The United States will “respond affirmatively” to its Eastern European allies if they request a greater military presence in the event of a Russian attack on Ukraine, a senior White House official said Monday.

“There would be a greater demand from our allies” in Eastern Europe to increase the presence of “troops, capabilities and exercises” in the face of any intervention by the Russian Army, and in that case “the United States would respond affirmatively,” the source said.

The senior official made it clear, however, that for the moment Washington ruled out a direct military response in the event of an attack on Ukraine.

“The United States does not want to be in a position where the direct use of American forces is at the center of our thinking,” the source emphasized.

Washington aims to focus on “a combination” of “support for the Ukrainian army”, “strong economic sanctions” and “a substantial increase in support and capabilities with NATO allies” in the event of conflict in Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden will meet with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelenski, “in the days following” his contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin, reported the senior White House official, who also reported that the secretary of US state Antony Blinken would hold a conversation with the Ukrainian head of state on Monday.

Biden will also meet on Monday “with key European allies to coordinate the message” that he will convey by videoconference to Putin, and to ensure that he faces that talk “in unity with the allies and in strong transnational solidarity.”

– No “advance” –

For its part, the Kremlin already announced on Monday that it did not expect a “breakthrough” during this virtual meeting.

Article Source