U.S. President Joe Biden has promised NATO members countries in central Europe of heightened military support following concerns of a Russian troop build-up near the Ukrainian border.
Biden has also reassured its allies that Washington would not reach any agreement with Russia regarding the troop build-up behind their backs.
Biden has spoken by phone to the leaders of NATO countries along the alliance’s border with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria.
“He said additional reassurance elements are possible in these countries, and additional military capabilities,” said Lithuania’s presidential advisor Asta Skaisgiryte.
Moscow has amassed troops on its border with Ukraine lending fears of an invasion. Kremlin-backed rebels have been fighting the Kyiv government, for years.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied backing the rebels. He has cited concerns on NATO’s eastward expansion and the deployment of military hardware close to its border.
As per a Polish official, Polish President Andrzej Duda had “pressed Biden to ensure that talks on how to handle any potential Russian aggression were not carried out solely in a small circle of countries”.
Before making a call to Putin earlier this week, Biden had consulted with leaders from France, Britain, Germany and Italy.
As per a senior official from the Biden administration, the president has reiterated U.S. commitment to the NATO charter saying an armed attack against one member shall be considered an attack on them all.
While speaking to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Biden made it clear that Washington and its allies would make “no decisions or discussions about Ukraine without Ukraine,’” the White House said.
As per the senior U.S. official, while Washington was prepared to discuss security issues with Moscow, the Biden Administration did not make any concession on his call to Putin.
Biden said, Ukraine is a sovereign country which must decide its own future.
Biden has warned Putin of “very serious consequences, coordinated with the European partners” if Russia invades Ukraine.
Lithuanian president Gitanas Nauseda has informed Biden that a permanent U.S. troop presence in his country would be “most effective” for deterrence and security in the region.