Tue, 17 May 2022

Washington [US], January 25 (ANI): A majority of the 8,500 US troops placed on high alert over the Ukraine crisis, Pentagon said on Monday amid the growing military build-up at the Russia-Ukraine border area.

Speaking at a press briefing, the US Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby said these 8,500 troops on high alert are from brigade combat teams, medical personnel, aviation support, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

"No deployment orders have been sent and no missions have been assigned," Kirby added.

The United States is not ruling out the option to move US troops in the European theatre in order to bolster NATO's eastern flank amid the Ukraine crisis, the spokesperson said.

"I'm absolutely not ruling out the possibility that there will intra-theatre moves as well inside Europe to bolster NATO allies on the Eastern flank," he said during a press briefing.

Kirby further said a potential deployment of additional US forces to Europe over Ukraine tensions will depend on a decision by NATO.

Ukraine crisis has taken shape over the past several months after the US and its allies accused Russia of a troop build-up near the shared border and is preparing for invasion.

Meanwhile, Moscow has denied these accusations, pointing to NATO's military activity near Russian borders, which it deems a threat to its national security.

Amid the rising tensions at the Ukraine border, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an increase in diplomatic efforts and more dialogue.

"What the secretary-general would like to see is a diplomatic buildup, increasing number of dialogue and the reaffirmation by all [those] involved that there can only be a diplomatic solution," UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told a press briefing.

He added that Guterres continues to be concerned about current tensions and appeals to all parties involved to take immediate steps to de-escalate and remain focused on the diplomatic process. (ANI)

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