March 18, 2022
During a special operation in Ukraine, under way since 24 February, Russian troops have only destroyed the country’s military infrastructure with high-precision weapons, which don’t target Ukrainian civilians, according to the Russian Defence Ministry.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that there are now 100,000 US troops in Europe as NATO ramps up its presence on the bloc’s eastern flank amid Russia’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Stoltenberg argued that the number of American servicemen in Europe has increased by several thousand over the past few weeks and that they remain on “heightened alert”.
He described the deployment as NATO’s “immediate response sending a clear message to Moscow that an attack on one ally will trigger a response from the whole alliance”.
“Deterrence of defence is not about provoking a conflict but prevents a conflict. It’s about preserving peace”, the NATO chief said, adding that NATO has increased support for Ukraine by delivering lethal arms as well as fuel and ammunition “critical for the Ukrainian force to mobilise against” what Stoltenberg described as “the invading Russian forces”.
He argued that the Ukrainian military is currently “much stronger” than in 2014, when NATO instructors started arriving in Ukraine to train local troops.
“[The] support we have been giving them for many years has proven to be extremely important”, the NATO chief stated, pledging to continue to provide Ukraine with arms.
Stoltenberg spoke after US President Joe Biden last week vowed that America would defend “every inch” of NATO territory as he ordered to move over 12,000 American troops and station them along the alliance’s borders with Russia. He clarified that the troops had been deployed to Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, as well as other countries.
POTUS also echoed his previous statements that the US would not fight “World War Three in Ukraine”, but stressed that Washington still has a “sacred obligation” under the NATO treaty. He warned that if Russia attacks one of its members, the US will respond, even if it means the start of a global conflict.