Russia accuses US of ‘igniting tensions’ with troop movements
Russia accused the United States Thursday of “igniting tensions” by deploying troops to Eastern Europe, despite Russia amassing some 120,000 troops along Ukraine’s border, The New York Times reported.
Pentagon officials announced Wednesday that 3,000 American troops would be sent to Eastern Europe to defend NATO allies from possible Russian aggression, as Russia continues to build up military forces and hardware in Belarus and near the Ukrainian border.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitri S. Peskov said that the U.S. is “igniting tensions on the European continent” and performing threatening actions “in the vicinity of our borders.”
“Clearly, Russian concerns are justified and understandable,” said Peskov Thursday, according to The New York Times. “All measures to ensure Russia’s security and interests are also understandable.”
The Biden administration said the additional troops will ensure a “robust defense of NATO territory” as tensions escalate and diplomatic efforts make little progress.
The president has said that troops will not be sent into Ukraine, while the state department said the current increase in troops is temporary.
“These are not permanent moves — they are precisely in response to the current security environment in light of this increasing threatening behavior by the Russian Federation,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price.
The U.S. and NATO have shared proposals on some security issues with Russia, which officials say President Vladimir Putin is still examining.