President Joe Biden said Friday night he will move US troops to Eastern Europe and NATO countries “in the near term,” NBC News reported.

Biden has consistently said he does not plan to send troops into Ukraine, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made clear earlier Friday that US troops on high alert had not yet been deployed to the region.

"I’ll be moving US troops to Eastern Europe and the NATO countries in the near term. Not a lot," Biden said in response to a reporter's question at Joint Base Andrews after returning from a trip to Pittsburgh.

The comments come on the heels of Russia insisting that it will not start a war with Ukraine after Biden warned there is a “distinct possibility” that Moscow could invade its neighbor in February.