The US sends troops to Eastern Europe to counter Russia

  • US troops are to be dispatched to Eastern Europe within a few days
  • Scathing comments about Britain signal unwillingness to compromise
  • West fears Russia is planning an invasion; Moscow denies this
  • Washington offers talks but rejects key Russian demands

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW, Feb 2 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden has agreed to send additional forces to eastern Europe, two US officials told Reuters on Wednesday, as Washington bolsters its allies against what it sees as a Russian threat to a country invasion of Ukraine.

One of the officials said about 2,000 American troops would be deployed from the United States to Poland and Germany, while about 1,000 troops now stationed in Germany would move to Romania.

In a sign that Russia is in no mood, at least publicly, to signal compromise, the Kremlin derided British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as “completely confused” and ridiculed British politicians for their “stupidity and ignorance”.

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Moscow, which has more than 100,000 troops stationed near Ukraine’s borders, denies any plan to invade its neighbor but says it could take unspecified military action if demands are not met, including a promise by NATO Never include Kiev.

The Kremlin turned its rhetorical fire on Johnson, who on Monday canceled a phone call with Putin to answer questions in Parliament about boozy events at his Downing Street office during the COVID-19 lockdown. Johnson visited Kiev on Tuesday, where he accused Russia of pointing a gun to Ukraine’s head.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia had not announced a phone call with Johnson, but added: “It makes sense to speak to anyone. Russia and President Putin are open to communication with all exhaustive explanations.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry went even further, taunting Foreign Secretary Liz Truss for saying Britain was sending supplies to its “Baltic allies across the Black Sea” – two bodies of water located on opposite sides of Europe.

“Ms. Truss, your knowledge of history is nothing compared to your knowledge of geography,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote in a blog post. “If anyone needs to be saved from something, it’s from the world, from the stupidity and ignorance of British politicians.”

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Additional reporting by Alexander Marrow, Andrew Osborn, Robin Emmott, writing by Peter Graff, Editor of Timothy Heritage

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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