Pentagon says ‘no decisions have been made’ on special forces at Kyiv embassy

The Pentagon said “no decisions have been made” about sending special forces to protect the newly reopened embassy in Kyiv, following a report from The Wall Street Journal that officials are considering the deployment.

The Journal cited U.S. officials saying a potential U.S. troop presence at the embassy would only be for defense and security of the embassy specifically, but that the plan had not yet been presented to Biden.

“We are in close touch with our colleagues at the State Department about potential security requirements now that they have resumed operations at the embassy in Kiev,” the Pentagon said in a statement to The Hill on Sunday, “but no decisions have been made — and no specific proposals have been debated — at senior levels of the department about the return of U.S. military members to Ukraine for that or any other purpose.”

Should such a plan progress, it would mark a backtracking on the president’s promise that U.S. troops would not be sent to Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion of the country.

Currently, the Kyiv embassy’s security comes from the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, the Journal noted.

The Biden administration is seeking to balance concerns about provoking Russian attacks on American personnel while also having enough forces to extract those Americans in the event of an escalation of attacks on Kyiv. 

Last month, the Biden administration announced that the U.S. embassy in Kyiv would be reopened after Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin both visited Ukraine’s capital city. 

The embassy raised the U.S. flag once again on Wednesday, about three months after lowering it before Russia launched its invasion.

The Senate also confirmed Bridget Brink last week as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. The veteran foreign service officer was nominated to the position last month by President Joe Biden.

Tags Antony Blinken Biden administration Joe Biden Kyiv Lloyd Austin Russia-Ukraine war US embassy

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