US President Joe Biden. Photograph:( AFP )
US President Joe Biden is expected to make a decision as early as this week
The Biden administration is mulling to deploy several thousand troops, as well as warships and aircraft, to NATO allies in the Baltics and Eastern Europe amid fears of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to reports.
The US president is expected to make a decision as early as this week, the New York Times has reported citing unnamed Pentagon officials.
The reports state that the Pentagon officials met Biden on Saturday where several options were discussed to shift American military bases “much closer to Putin’s doorstep”.
Among the options discussed in the meet include sending 1,000 to 5,000 troops to Eastern European countries, with the potential to increase that number tenfold if things deteriorate.
It is being said that Biden’s latest offensive is to counter Russia’s troop build-up at Ukraine’s borders.
According to the Guardian report, Russia has amassed thousands of troops more along Ukraine’s borders.
A large military force, including Iskander short-range ballistic missiles, elite spetsnaz troops and anti-aircraft batteries, has arrived in Belarus from Russia’s eastern military district, the report said.
Apart from that, six Russian landing ships capable of carrying main battle tanks, troops and other military vehicles travelled through the Channel en route to the Mediterranean last week in a deployment.
In a recent interview, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the US is focused on building deterrence to counter against any possible Ukraine invasion.
“Even as we’re engaged in diplomacy, we are very much focused on building up defence, building up deterrence,” he said on Sunday.
“NATO itself will continue to be reinforced in a significant way if Russia commits renewed acts of aggression. All of that is on the table,” he added.
Meanwhile, the US has warned its citizens not to travel to Russia amid “ongoing tension along the border with Ukraine”.
"Do not travel to Russia due to ongoing tension along the border with Ukraine," a statement from the US State Department said, adding that Americans could also face "harassment" and that the embassy would have "limited ability to assist US citizens."
(With inputs from agencies)