Biden considering deploying thousands of troops to European NATO allies: Report

Biden officials are also closely watching to see any indication that Russia may be deploying tactical nuclear weapons to its border.

Updated: January 23, 2022 - 7:54pm

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President Joe Biden is considering deploying thousands of troops, in addition to aircraft and warships, to NATO allies across Eastern Europe and the Baltics as tensions mount on the Russia-Ukraine border, administration officials reportedly told The New York Times.

The United States sent more than 80 tons of military equipment costing $200 million to Ukraine over the weekend, the country's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Sunday.

That day, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine ordered the evacuation of diplomats' families, while other employees were given authorization to voluntarily leave.

Biden had a meeting with senior Pentagon officials at Camp David on Saturday to discuss several military options for Ukraine, The New York Times reports. One option is to deploy 1,000 to 5,000 U.S. troops to Eastern European countries, with the ability to increase service members tenfold if needed.

Officials told The New York Times that Biden will likely make a decision this week, but none of the current options involve deploying U.S. troops directly to Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly wants to avoid the service members being sent to NATO members Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which is one option the administration is considering.

Biden officials are closely watching to see any indication that Russia may be deploying tactical nuclear weapons to its border, as suggested by Russian authorities.

Biden has been criticized for his response to the unfolding crisis. After a press conference last week, he was accused of dismissing a hypothetical "minor incursion" by Putin into Ukraine.