UPDATED 9:01 AM PT – Thursday, February 24, 2022
NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg said top American Gen. Tod Wolters of the U.S. European Command directed him to activate its defense plans. Stoltenberg pointed out that Russia has shattered peace and is putting countless innocent lives at risk. He emphasized the alliance will defend and protect every ally against any attack.
“This is a prudent and defensive step to protect and shield allied nations during this crisis,” stated the NATO Chief. “And it will enable us to deploy capabilities and forces, including the NATO response force to where they are needed.”
Joined G7 Leaders’ meeting on #Russia‘s brutal attack on #Ukraine. #NATO is part of a united international response. We say with one voice that democracy will prevail over autocracy. Freedom will prevail over oppression. pic.twitter.com/AdR8tIISzi
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) February 24, 2022
Meanwhile, the U.S. doubled down on security and other assistance to Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the move Wednesday, saying the U.S. will reinforce NATO with more troops in Eastern Europe. So far, about 6,000 U.S. troops are positioned in Germany, Poland and Romania near the countries’ borders with Ukraine.
.@SecDef and I spoke with @JensStoltenberg to condemn Russia’s attack on Ukraine and discuss the Alliance’s coordinated response. We are united in responding to Russia and strengthening NATO’s Eastern Flank.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 24, 2022
It’s not clear how many more American troops will be sent to the region. In the meantime, NATO is boosting allied forces as the alliance condemns Russia’s invasion.