The Biden administration will consider sending troops to Baltic countries in order to ease tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

The news: President Joe Biden is considering sending several thousand troops — along with some warships and aircraft — to the Baltics and Eastern Europe — as a way to involve more U.S. military on Russia’s doorsteps, The New York Times reports.

  • “The options include sending 1,000 to 5,000 troops to Eastern European countries, with the potential to increase that number tenfold if things deteriorate,” per The New York Times.
  • Troops could be sent to “Poland, Romania and other countries neighboring Ukraine,” according to NBC News.
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State of play: Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops on the Ukraine border, stoking fears that Russia will invade the country.

  • Russia has been organizing military drills in Belarus.
  • Biden said any move by Russia would lead to consequences, including potential economic sanctions.
  • The British government Saturday accused Russia of seeking to replace Ukraine’s government with a pro-Moscow administration, The Associated Press reports.

Yes, but: The U.S. State Department said Sunday that it would reduce its staff at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, by removing nonessential staff and family members.

  • “On January 23, 2022, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. direct hire employees and ordered the departure of eligible family members from Embassy Kyiv due to the continued threat of Russian military action,” the State Department said in a statement. “U.S. citizens in Ukraine should consider departing now using commercial or other privately available transportation options.”
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What’s next: Biden is expected to decide this week.

  • “He is weighing the buildup as Russia has escalated its menacing posture against Ukraine, including massing more than 100,000 troops and weaponry on the border and stationing Russian forces in Belarus,” The New York Times reports.
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