On Tuesday, February 15, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin departs for a trip to Lithuania, Poland, and Belgium, the Pentagon has said.

Secretary Austin will meet the country leaders and the US troops in Poland, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

In Brussels, Austin will meet with NATO leadership to discuss Russia’s military build-up near its border with Ukraine.

In Lithuania, the senior US official will meet with President Gitanas Nauseda, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė, and Defence Minister Arvydas Anusauskas.

The US did not believe Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a final decision to invade Ukraine but could move with little or no warning.