Washington has 8,500 players on alert

“The number of troops on high alert is up to 8,500,” he said, adding that “no decision has been made at this time on whether to deploy troops outside the United States.”

The spokesman explained that the high alert level helps prepare the troops to leave within five days instead of ten.

These troops will intervene in support of NATO’s rapid reaction force of 40,000 troops.

This reactionary force was “not activated, NATO must do it,” John Kirby underlined.

As the talks between Russia and the United States continue to defuse the crisis, he reiterated, “We are not sending them now,” “We are not saying diplomacy is dead.”

But “it is very clear,” he added, “the Russians do not currently intend to start an expansion.”

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