US sends troops to Poland and Germany over Ukraine tensions

President Joe Biden will send about 2,000 troops from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Poland and Germany in the coming days and move about 1,000 troops from Germany to Romania, a senior official said Wednesday.

Biden has said he will not send troops to Ukraine to fight a possible Russian incursion, although the United States is sending weapons to Ukraine to defend itself.

Talks with Russia about a troop and weapons buildup on Ukraine’s border have stalled, while fears are growing in Europe that Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing to invade Ukraine. Smaller NATO members on the alliance’s eastern flank fear the same could happen to them, though Russia has said it has no intention of starting a conflict and is willing to continue diplomatic efforts.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the military moves were not yet announced.

For its part, the newspaper El País published on Wednesday two documents that supposedly are written responses from the United States and NATO last week to Russian proposals for a new security device in Europe. US officials could not be reached to confirm the authenticity of one of the documents.

As for the second document, NATO said it never makes any statements about “alleged leaks.” But the text reflects statements to the press by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg when he explained the position of the military alliance on the Russian claims.

The US document, labeled a confidential “non paper”, says the United States would be willing to discuss in consultation with its NATO partners “a transparency mechanism to confirm the absence of Tomahawk cruise missiles at Aegis Land-Based sites in Romania.” and Poland”.

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That would happen under the condition that Russia “provides reciprocal transparency measures at two land-based missile launch bases chosen by us in Russia.”

Aegis is a short to intermediate range missile defense system. But Russia has said in the past that the United States could strike with intermediate-range Tomahawk missiles from Aegis Ground-Based sites. The US document says that Washington should consult with its NATO allies, particularly Romania and Poland, on the possible offer.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov refused to comment on the leaked documents, saying only that “we didn’t spread anything.” In statements to the state news agency RIA Novosti, the Russian Foreign Ministry also refused to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents published by El País.

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