Biden orders deployment of troops in Eastern Europe amid Ukraine-Russia crisis


US President Joe Biden says the country will deploy additional troops and equipment to Baltic members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in Eastern Europe.


The development is coming hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly ordered troops into two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.


NATO is currently made up of 30 member countries, including the US.


The Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania — are the only ex-soviet countries to have joined the European Union (EU) and NATO — which Ukraine aims to join.


Although an imminent attack on the Baltic states hasn’t been declared, the three countries are said to be concerned about Russia’s ability to cut them off from the rest of Europe via the Polish-Lithuanian border, said to be one of NATO’s most vulnerable points.


Speaking on Tuesday at a media briefing, Biden said the “United States will continue to provide defensive assistance to Ukraine in the meantime”, adding that the US will also “continue to reinforce and reassure our NATO allies”.


“Today, in response to Russia’s admission that it will not withdraw its forces from Belarus, I have authorised additional movements of US forces and equipment already stationed in Europe to strengthen our Baltic Allies – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,” he said.


 “Let me be clear these are totally defensive moves on our part. We have no intention of fighting Russia. We want to send an unmistakable message that the United States together with our allies will defend every inch of NATO territory and abide by the commitments we made it to NATO.


“This is the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. So I’m going to begin to impose sanctions in response — far beyond the steps we and our allies and partners implemented in 2014.”


Biden also said the US is implementing sanctions on two Russian financial institutions, adding that sanctions would also be imposed on Russia’s elites and their family members.

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