Kirby stressed that Russian President Vladimir Putin “ordered to continue raising the capabilities of the Russian army’s artillery, missile, missile defense and special units in the past two days.”
And a spokesman for the US Department of Defense suggested that Russia would “invade Donbass in eastern Ukraine, as well as occupy all of the country for a long time.”
The Pentagon revealed the presence of about 80,000 US soldiers in Europe, stressing the ability of these forces to redeploy according to security needs.
For her part, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that Washington “is pursuing two paths in the Ukrainian crisis: diplomacy and deterrence, and the choice of one depends on the decision of Russian President Putin.”
“We are united with our European partners on our positions towards Russia. We are working with Germany to stop the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in case Russia invades Ukraine,” Psaki said.
“We are in constant contact with the Pentagon and our NATO allies to assess any future needs that could be dispatched, including additional forces,” she added.
The White House spokeswoman confirmed that her country has “our own package of sanctions that we are discussing with Congress, not necessarily the same as the measures that our allies will take.”