Vladimir Putin Trying to Keep Europe, U.S. 'Guessing' About Russia's Plans, Norway PM Says

With uncertainty surrounding Russia's next moves regarding its military buildup at the Ukrainian border, officials speculate that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to keep other countries guessing about his country's game plan.

The Associated Press asked Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store what he believes Putin's plan is at the border of Ukraine. Store said, "He wants to leave us guessing," adding that European leadership "should be firm, predictable and clear on principles" when handling Russia.

U.S. Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman expressed similar concerns, saying no one knows what's going on inside of Putin's head. Sherman said she's anticipating Putin will use military action soon.

"I don't know what's in Putin's mind, and I suspect people around him don't know what he will ultimately do," Sherman said.

Store told the AP the fact Putin has to show Moscow's political views by using "extraordinary" military presence is a sign of weakness because issues involving people should be talked about instead of conveyed using "that kind of military demonstration."

Russia has assembled an estimated 100,000 troops along Ukraine's border. The U.S. and NATO are worried Russia may take military action against Ukraine; however, Russia has repeatedly denied having any plans to invade the country, the AP reported.

Just in case military action occurs, NATO said it is sending military forces to Eastern Europe for reinforcement. Troops are currently on standby with more ships and fighter jets heading that way, Al Jazeera reported.

"We will always respond to any deterioration of our security environment, including through strengthening our collective defense," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement, according to Al Jazeera.

The U.S. military also has 8,500 troops ready to deploy to Europe on short notice if necessary. Al Jazeera said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby emphasized there has been no decision made at this time to deploy the troops.

Kirby said the U.S. would only deploy its troops if NATO activates a rapid-reaction force. However, there are currently no plans for U.S. troops to deploy to the Ukraine independent of a rapid-reaction force.

Al Jazeera reported there is a "lot of concern" in Russia over NATO's moves to increase its presence in Eastern Europe.

"But the Russians…are not standing by watching events unfold.…They have said they will continue to move their military hardware and troops to their borders, wherever they see fit," Dorsa Jabbari, a journalist for AlJazeera, said in a report from Moscow.

As Russia shows no signs of de-escalation, the U.S. State Department updated their travel advisories, saying Americans should "strongly consider leaving" Ukraine.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, will remain open and will provide loans to help U.S. citizens who cannot afford a ticket to leave the country.

Russia Trying to Keep Plans Secret
Norway's Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin "wants to leave us guessing" regarding Russia's military buildup at its border with Ukraine. Above, Store is pictured. Kay Nietfeld-Pool/Getty Images