Speaking during a news conference at the White House on Wednesday, he rejected demands from Moscow that his administration withdraw troops from former Soviet bloc countries in a deal to de-escalate tensions with Russia over Ukraine, the defenseone.com website reported.
“There’s not space for that,” Biden told reporters, as quoted by the White House.
“We’re going to actually increase troop presence in Poland or Romania, et cetera, if in fact he moves," he said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Moscow's military buildup on the Ukrainian border.
Biden added that the United States had "a sacred obligation with Article 5 to defend those countries because they’re part of NATO."
He also told reporters that America would not “permanently station” troops in former Soviet bloc states.
'Russia will be held accountable if it invades'
Biden predicted on Wednesday that Russia would make a move on Ukraine, saying Moscow would pay dearly for a full-scale invasion but suggesting there could be a lower cost for a "minor incursion," the Reuters news agency reported.
"I think what you’re going to see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades," Biden said at the news conference. "And it depends on what it does. It's one thing if it's a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and what to not do, et cetera."
He added: "But if they actually do what they’re capable of doing with the forces amassed on the border, it is going to be a disaster for Russia if they further ... invade Ukraine, and ... our allies and partners are ready to impose severe costs and significant harm on Russia and the Russian economy."
Russias has repeatedly denied planning to invade, but it has amassed some 100,000 troops near Ukraine's borders, a buildup the West says is preparation for a war to prevent Ukraine from ever joining NATO, Reuters reported.
Poland's President Andrzej Duda in November 2020 ratified a major military deal with the United States under which at least 1,000 extra American troops are expected to be stationed in the NATO eastern-flank country to provide greater deterrence against Russia.
Source: PAP, defenseone.com, whitehouse.gov, Reuters