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US to send troops to Eastern Europe soon

President Joe Biden says the US plans to deploy additional troops to Eastern Europe, as NATO countries seek to beef up their presence as part of a stand-off with Russia.

Biden on Friday said he would be moving US troops to the region “in the near term” and said it would be “not a lot” of soldiers, without giving any more detail on possible numbers.

Biden on Monday ordered 8500 soldiers to be put on heightened alert so they could be rapidly deployed if needed.

He stressed it was a precautionary measure to address the concerns of NATO’s Eastern European members. He said no US soldiers would be sent into Ukraine itself.

Tens of thousands of US troops are usually stationed in Europe, including some 35,000 in Germany.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said earlier on Friday there was no order yet to send troops. They are on “prepare to deploy” orders and will be ready to go if NATO gives the order, he said.

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