USS Harry S. Truman to Suspend Planned Middle East Trip Amid Tensions With Russia
The United States has ordered an aircraft carrier to remain in the Mediterranean in a bid to reassure European allies amid fears that Russia would invade Ukraine, an official said on Tuesday.
The “change in schedule reflects the need for a continued presence in Europe and is necessary to reassure our allies and partners of our commitment to collective defense,” said a defense official.
This decision comes despite an agreement between the United States and Russia to hold talks on January 10 in Geneva on the tensions, in particular concerning Ukraine.
The administration of US President Joe Biden has insisted on working closely with European allies, with NATO officials also due to meet with Russia.
Western officials say Russia amassed tens of thousands of troops near the Ukrainian border, raising fears of a repeat of 2014 when Moscow captured the Crimean peninsula and a pro-Moscow insurgency erupted in it. eastern Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denies invasion plans but has called for security guarantees against an eastward expansion of NATO, the US-backed alliance.
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group set sail on December 1 from its base in Norfolk, Va., For a regular deployment.
Last week, he conducted joint exercises with the Tunisian army before sailing east.