Biden is taking part in high-level NATO talks on Ukraine

On Thursday, NATO leaders plan to hold three high-level meetings to discuss the consequences of Putin’s aggression against Ukraine.

BRUSSELS, Belgium – The United States will expand sanctions against Russia in response to the Ukrainian occupation, targeting members of parliament and the central bank’s gold reserves, the White House said Thursday.

At the same time, Washington will increase its humanitarian assistance by welcoming 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and providing an additional $ 1 billion in food, medicine, water and other supplies.

The White House announced the initiatives as US President Joe Biden and world leaders gathered in Brussels for a trilateral summit in response to Russia’s occupation, looking for new ways to limit the economic and security consequences of the conflict.

Speaking at a NATO emergency summit, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called for “unlimited military assistance.” is that it? ”

“It’s as if we are in a gray area between the West and Russia, defending our common values,” Zelensky said in a video address. “This is the most frightening thing during a war – the lack of clear answers to aid requests!”

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal discussions, said Western countries were discussing the possibility of providing anti-ship weapons amid concerns that Russia would launch amphibious attacks along the Black Sea coast.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg opened the closed-door summit with a sober warning that the alliance must step up its defense and “respond to a new security reality in Europe.”

“We are meeting at a critical time for our security,” he told leaders at a large roundtable. “We are united in condemning the Kremlin’s unfounded aggression and in supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Stoltenberg said the alliance was “determined to continue spending on Russia to end this brutal war.”

In addition to the NATO summit, Brussels hosts separate summits of the Group of Seven industrialized countries and, if necessary, the European Union. Biden will attend all three meetings, after which he will hold a press conference.

Although the West has largely united in the confrontation with Russia since its occupation of Ukraine, it is widely accepted that the union will be tested as a war chip in the global economy.

The strengthening of forces along NATO’s eastern flank will put pressure on national budgets for at least the next five to 10 years, if Russia effectively avoids it.

“We need to do more and therefore invest more,” he said. “There is a new sense of urgency, and I expect leaders to agree to accelerate defense investment,” Stoltenberg said ahead of the summit.

Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said the United States wanted to hear “the determination and unity we have seen over the past month.”

The energy crisis, exacerbated by the war, will be a hot topic at the Council of Europe summit, where leaders of Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece are hoping for an urgent, coordinated bloc response. EU officials have said they will ask the United States for help with a plan to replenish natural gas storage facilities next winter, and that they want the bloc to buy gas together.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has rejected calls for a boycott of Russia’s energy supplies, saying it would seriously hurt the country’s economy. Scholz is under pressure from environmental activists to quickly separate Germany from Russian energy, but he said the process would be gradual.

“Doing this from day to day means dragging our country and the whole of Europe into recession,” Scholz said Wednesday.

Poland and other eastern NATO countries will also seek clarification on how the United States and other European countries can help them cope with growing concerns about Russia’s aggression, as well as the refugee crisis. In recent weeks, more than 3.5 million refugees have fled Ukraine, including more than 2 million to Poland.

Biden is scheduled to visit Poland on Friday, where both issues are expected to be at the center of talks with President Andrzej Duda. Another milestone could come shortly before Biden returns to Washington on Saturday. The White House said it planned to “make statements on the free world’s joint efforts to support the Ukrainian people, hold Russia accountable for its brutal war, and defend a democratic future.”

Sullivan said Biden and other leaders would aim to develop a “longer-term game plan” about what forces and capabilities would be needed for the alliance’s eastern flank.

Four new NATO combat groups, usually between 1,000 and 1,500 troops, are being set up in Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria.

During this time, national security officials from Washington to Warsaw have become increasingly concerned that Putin could deploy chemical, biological, and even nuclear weapons. Sullivan said the allies would discuss how to respond to such “potential contingencies.”

Biden said this week that Russia’s use of chemical weapons was a “real threat.”

Stoltenberg on Thursday refused to discuss whether such a coup would be a red line leading the alliance to war with Russia. “I will not speculate unless NATO is always ready to defend, defend and respond to any attack on a NATO ally,” he said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN this week that Russia could consider using nuclear weapons if it felt “a threat to our country.”

Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Union’s executive branch, said before Biden’s visit that he wanted to discuss the possibility of providing additional supplies of liquefied natural gas from the United States “for the next two winters” covering 27 countries.

The EU imports 90% of the natural gas used for electricity, heating and the supply industry, while Russia supplies about 40% of the EU’s gas and a quarter of its oil. The bloc is looking for ways to reduce its dependence on Russian gas by diversifying suppliers.

Sullivan said the United States was looking for ways to “increase” LNG supplies to Europe for help.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he did not want to be named, said Biden’s new sanctions would target members of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma. The new sanctions will be imposed in coordination with Western allies.

According to a poll by the Associated Press-NORC Public Relations Research Center, Biden arrived in Brussels with more and more Americans accepting the need for the United States to help stop Putin.

According to the AP-NORC poll, Biden’s approval rating has not changed, despite growing concern among Americans and growing support for the US role in the conflict over the past month. Very few are convinced that he will be able to cope with the crisis, and many think that he is not tough on Russia.

Biden promised voters that he had the experience to cope with a complex international emergency as in Europe, and that his visit would be the last test of that proposal.

Madhani reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Matthew Lee, Hannah Fingerhut, and Darlene Superville in Washington, Daria Litvinova in Lviv, Ukraine, and Samuel Petrek in Brussels contributed to the report.

Biden is taking part in high-level NATO talks on Ukraine

Source link Biden is taking part in high-level NATO talks on Ukraine

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