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Warsaw, Poland | US soldiers arrived in Poland on Saturday as part of NATO moves to send in extra troops over fears that Russia could invade Ukraine, a Polish army spokesman told AFP.
"The first batch has arrived at the airport in Jasionka" in southwestern Poland, Major Przemyslaw Lipczynski said, adding that the bulk of a contingent of 1,700 US soldiers would follow "soon".
He said the soldiers who arrived Saturday were from the 82nd Airborne Division.
"Our Corps’ presence serves to bolster existing US forces in Europe and demonstrates our commitment to our NATO Allies and Partners,” added Captain Matt Visser, spokesman for the 18th Airborne Corps, which includes the 82nd division.
The corps was made up of "combat capable forces who stand ready to enhance the Alliance’s ability to deter and defeat Russian aggression," the US statement added.
Washington said last week it would send about 3,000 additional troops to eastern Europe to defend NATO members against any "aggression".
Washington is sending 2,000 troops stationed in the US. They are being flown to Germany and Poland. Another 1,000 already in Germany are being sent to Romania.
Western capitals have accused Russia of amassing 100,000 troops on the borders of pro-Western Ukraine in preparation for an invasion and have vowed to impose devastating sanctions on Moscow if it attacks.
© Agence France-Presse