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Will the US send troops to Ukraine? This has been said by Joe Biden

(CNN) — President Joe Biden left for Brussels on Wednesday for a series of emergency summits with Western allies that will focus on supporting Ukraine and showing cooperation to punish Russia.

Biden hopes to come out of an intense day of meetings on Thursday with some new actions to announce together with his partners: new sanctions on Russia, measures to cut off its oil and gas profits or new announcements of military or financial assistance to Ukraine.

What is not on the table, as he has repeatedly said, is sending US troops to Ukraine.

Biden and his Western allies have largely ruled out using their own forces in Ukraine and rebuffed calls from Zelensky to establish a no-fly zone or provide fighter jets.

Even a Polish proposal to establish an international peacekeeping force in Ukraine, which Warsaw is expected to raise during Thursday’s meeting, has been met with skepticism from US officials, who say Biden opposes any scenario. pit US troops directly against Russian troops.

The background to Biden’s stance

During his State of the Union address in early March, the US president emphasized that US troops would not fight on the ground and assured Americans of their security amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“Let me be clear: our forces are not and will not be involved in the conflict with Russian forces in Ukraine,” he said.

Night view of Kyiv as the mayor declared a curfew from 10 pm to 7 am on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Pierre Crom/Getty Images)

Earlier, when he announced sanctions against Russia for the start of its invasion, Biden was careful to make it clear that the United States was not being aggressive towards Russia.

“Let me be clear: These are totally defensive moves on our part. We have no intention of fighting Russia,” Biden said.

In early February, Biden told NBC News that he would not consider any scenario that would include sending US troops to evacuate Americans in Ukraine.

“There isn’t. That’s a world war if the Americans and Russia start shooting at each other,” he said.

While Biden’s clarification that US troops would not engage offensively may help avoid a US-Russian conflict, critics noted that he also made it clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin that his forces would face fewer obstacles in the war. his invasion.

“Biden diluted our most important source of influence in this crisis,” Ian Brzezinski, a former Pentagon official under President George W. Bush, told New York Times to early this month.

A woman walks past rubble after Russian shelling, in Mariupol, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Russia launched a barrage of air and missile strikes against Ukraine early Thursday and Ukrainian officials said Russian troops have been approached the country from the north, east and south. (AP Photo/Evgeny Maloletka)

There are US troops in countries bordering Ukraine

A specialist assures that NATO will not be able to intervene in Ukraine 0:40

One of the main factors behind Putin’s invasion is his fear that Ukraine will become part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which was formed after World War II to contain the Soviet Union and has expanded in recent decades to incorporate the countries of the former Soviet bloc.

Ukraine borders the NATO member countries of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. If Russia threatened one of these countries, the United States would be bound by the agreement to defend them.

Biden said the US would stick to the principle of NATO’s Article 5, which says that an attack on one NATO country is an attack on all member countries. “As I have made abundantly clear, the United States and our allies will defend every inch of NATO country territory with the full force of our collective power,” he said.

This is how the Ukrainians live the invasion

People wait for a bus at the bus station to evacuate kyiv on February 24, 2022 in kyiv, Ukraine. Overnight, Russia began a full-scale attack on Ukraine, with explosions reported in several cities and far beyond the restive eastern regions held by Russian-backed rebels. (Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)

Movement of troops within NATO countries

Survey: 1 in 2 Russians support using military force 0:32

Although Biden has vowed not to send US troops to Ukraine, in recent weeks the United States has sent more soldiers and warplanes to Eastern European countries such as Poland and Romania.

During his State of the Union address, the US president assured that US troops were deployed to Europe not to fight in Ukraine, “but to defend our NATO allies in case Putin decides to continue advancing towards Ukraine.” West”.

“For that purpose, we have mobilized US ground forces, air squadrons, ship deployments to protect NATO countries, including Poland, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia,” he added.

Opposition to further US involvement

The Republican response to Biden’s measures 0:49

Americans are wary of US involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, according to polls conducted in the run-up to the Russian invasion.

In a recent AP-NORC poll, only 26% of Americans believe the United States should play a significant role in the Russia-Ukraine situation. About half, 52%, said they should play a minor role, and another 20% said they should play no role at all.

A third of Democrats (32%) and 22% of Republicans wanted the United States to play a major role. Independents were the most likely to say that the United States should play no role; 32% thought so, compared to 22% of Republicans and 14% of Democrats.

In light of the polls, Biden and US officials would have to be very careful about engaging the public before changing the administration’s position on the commitment of US troops.

CNN’s Barbara Starr and Ariel Edwards-Levy contributed to this report. Updated March 3.

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