US boosts European troops amid Ukraine tensions

US President, Joe Biden, is to send extra troops to Europe this week amid continuing fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, White House officials say.
Some 2,000 troops will be sent from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Poland and Germany, and a further 1,000 already in Germany will go to Romania.
Moscow denies planning to invade, but has deployed an estimated 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders.
It fiercely opposes Ukraine joining the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) military alliance.
The crisis comes eight years after Russia annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula and backed a bloody rebellion in the eastern Donbas region.
Moscow accuses the Ukrainian government of failing to implement an international deal to restore peace to the east – where Russian-backed rebels control swathes of territory and at least 14,000 people have been killed since 2014.
The new US deployments will not fight in Ukraine, but will ensure the defence of US allies.
The deployment is in addition to the 8,500 troops the Pentagon put on alert last month to be deployed to Europe if needed.
Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, has accused the US of trying to draw his country into a war in Ukraine.
He said America’s goal was to use a confrontation as a pretext to impose more sanctions on Russia.
Mr Putin also said the US was ignoring Russia’s concerns about the expansion of NATO, the Western military alliance, which Ukraine is seeking to join.
The US and its allies accuse Russia of planning to invade Ukraine, something Russia has repeatedly denied.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, tweeted that the US was “committed to preventing a conflict that is in no one’s interest”.
Meanwhile, Spanish newspaper, El Pais, has released what it says are confidential documents the US and NATO sent to Russia last week – including offers of talks on cutting back on nuclear weaponry and trust-building measures in exchange for reducing tensions over Ukraine.
A NATO official told the BBC the alliance never commented on alleged leaks.
President Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Moscow was aware of the report, but that they did not publish it and did not want to comment on it, according to AFP news agency. –BBC/AFP

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