The United States will boost its troop presence in eastern NATO members such as Poland and Romania if Russia sends more forces into Ukraine, President Joe Biden said Wednesday.
Biden shot down the idea that his administration would withdraw troops from former Soviet countries in a deal to de-escalate tensions with Russia, which has amassed military hardware and 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border.
“There’s not space for that,” he said at a White House press conference. “We’re going to actually increase troop presence in Poland or Romania, et cetera, if in fact he moves, because we have a sacred obligation with Article 5 to defend those countries because they’re part of NATO.”
But Biden also said America will not “permanently station” troops in former Soviet states.
Eastern European allies have been pushing for a greater American troop presence for years to provide greater deterrence against Russia. In 2018, Poland proposed naming a military base after President Donald Trump in exchange for basing troops permanently in the country. And Lithuania is investing millions of Euros in its military facilities to try to make rotational deployments permanent amid heightened fears about Russia.