Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Missile Deployments, Military Exercises on Table for Russia Talks; White House Denies Report Biden is Considering Withdrawing U.S. Troops from Eastern Europe

AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool, File
Missile deployments, military exercises on table for Russia talks:
The Biden Administration says it is willing to negotiate on missile placements and the size and scope of military exercises in Eastern Europe as security officials prepare for next week’s bilateral talks with Russia.
The White House hopes to cool simmering tensions with Russia amid troop buildup along its border with Ukraine through a series of negotiations with the Kremlin beginning Monday.
Last month, the Russian Foreign Ministry published a draft treaty laying out a list of demands for the U.S. and NATO ahead of the talks.
Russia has demanded that the U.S. and NATO deny membership to Ukraine and roll back military levels in Eastern Europe. It has also asked the U.S. not to build any military bases in countries that were former members of the Soviet Union and not part of NATO. Both remain non-starters for the U.S.
Nonetheless, officials say the administration is willing to discuss some concerns raised by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Russia has said it feels threatened by the prospect of offensive missile systems being placed in Ukraine,” a senior administration official said. “As President Biden told President Putin, The United States has no intention of doing that. So this is one area where we may be able to reach an understanding if Russia is willing to make a reciprocal commitment.” --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo/Michael Probst, File
White House denies report Biden is considering withdrawing U.S. troops from Eastern Europe:
The White House on Friday denied a report that it is considering scaling back troop deployments and military exercises in Eastern Europe ahead of next week’s talks with Russia.
National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said the report by NBC News is not accurate.
“It is not accurate that the administration is developing options for pulling back U.S. forces in Eastern Europe in preparation for discussions with Russia next week, which we told NBC while they were reporting this story,” she said in an email to The Washington Times.
“In fact, we have been clear with Russia, publicly and privately, that should Russia further invade Ukraine we would reinforce our NATO Allies on the eastern flank, to whom we have a sacred obligation. We are firmly tightly lashed up with our NATO Allies as we address this crisis together, on the principle of “nothing about you without you,” she said.
Citing an administration official and two former security officials, the report said the White House is putting together a list of options for changing force posture in Europe to discuss with Russia. The officials reportedly told the outlet that Russia is willing to scale back its presence if the U.S. will respond in kind. --->READ MORE HERE
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