Biden is skeptical Russia is scaling back operations in Kyiv

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden says he’s not yet convinced that Russia’s announcement that it will scale back military operations near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv will lead to a fundamental shift in the war.

Biden said during an appearance before reporters with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the White House on Tuesday that he was waiting to see what Russia offers in ongoing talks with Ukraine and how Moscow readjusts its troop presence.

Biden says of the latest development, “We’ll see" he said “I don’t read anything into it until I see what their actions are.”

The Democratic president says he doesn’t read anything into it until he sees what Russia’s actions are. Lee says “the war in Ukraine has implications for the Asia Pacific” region.

As for the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, Biden said the consensus of Western allies is to “see what they have to offer.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. will likely need to add more permanent or rotational forces in Europe in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. European Command leader told Congress Tuesday, without detailing when or how many.

Gen. Tod Wolters, who also serves as NATO’s supreme allied commander, said decisions will be based on what European nations do, particularly in response to the need to build four additional NATO battlegroups, which are being set up in Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria. The groups are an effort to protect and reassure nations on Europe’s eastern flank.

“My suspicion is we’re going to still need more,” Wolters told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Questioned about early U.S. intelligence that suggested Russia would overwhelm Ukraine quickly, Wolters said that there may have been an “intel gap.” He said broader reviews of the U.S. response to the war will consider that element.

On Russia’s use of hypersonic weapons in Ukraine, Wolters said there have been “multiple” launches that appeared to be an attempt by Putin to demonstrate his military’s capabilities..

“I don’t think they were successful,” he said.