The United States has 8,500 military personnel on standby for immediate deployment in Europe, the Pentagon said Monday. The troops can be deployed as soon as NATO wants to respond to a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.

However, a decision on the deployment of the troops has not yet been made, a Pentagon spokesman said. The higher state of readiness means that the troops will be ready to leave for Europe after five days, rather than after ten days.

NATO said Monday that reinforcements are being sent to Eastern European member states and that troops are being prepared. The extra warplanes and warships should deter Russia, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said.

US President Joe Biden discussed the situation around Ukraine Monday via video link with Stoltenberg and European leaders.

According to an EU source, Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen discussed, among other things, economic aid to Ukraine and the importance of dialogue with Russia. .

Afterwards, Biden spoke of a “very, very, very good meeting”; there would be “total unity” between the US and its European allies. “We agree that any further aggression by Russia against Ukraine will have serious consequences,” Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter afterwards.

Russian troops prepare to invade Ukraine

Russia has gathered many soldiers along the Ukrainian border and is preparing for an attack, according to the United States. Although Ukraine is not a NATO member, the military alliance says it will not accept an attack on the country.

Should Russia attack Ukraine, Western countries will impose heavy sanctions against Russia. Neighboring NATO countries such as Poland and the Baltic countries also feel threatened by Russia.