Amid rising tension as Russia continues building up its presence on the Ukraine border, the State Department ordered families of personnel to leave the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. The Department also changed its Ukraine and Russia travel advisories to “do not travel”. This afternoon, President Joe Biden is taking calls with European leaders as he considers deploying troops and equipment to the region.
Biden is speaking with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy, President Andrzej Duda of Poland, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
Meanwhile, NATO is taking more concrete steps, deploying fighter jets and aircraft carriers to Eastern Europe.
“NATO Allies are putting forces on standby and sending additional ships and fighter jets to NATO deployments in eastern Europe, reinforcing Allied deterrence and defence as Russia continues its military build-up in and around Ukraine,” the alliance said in a statement.
“NATO will continue to take all necessary measures to protect and defend all Allies, including by reinforcing the eastern part of the alliance,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said. “We will always respond to any deterioration of our security environment, including through strengthening our collective defence.”
This article will be updated with any statements made after Biden’s calls throughout the afternoon.