US President Joe Biden will travel to a special NATO summit in Brussels next Thursday. The White House said Tuesday in Washington that Biden wanted to assure Europeans of the United States’ “unwavering support” in the Ukraine war. In the Belgian capital, the American president also wants to participate in an EU summit that is already planned.
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Biden’s trip to Brussels for March 24. Shortly before, the secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, had convened a special summit for the 30 countries of the alliance.
Increases pressure on the Kremlin
On the same day, Biden wants to meet with the EU heads of state and government, who will meet for a regular summit on March 24-25. According to Psakis, this is the economic price of the war in Ukraine for Moscow and humanitarian aid for Ukraine. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel welcomed the meeting with Biden. “Transatlantic unity and alignment remain critical to increasing pressure on the Kremlin to end this pointless war,” von der Leyen wrote on Twitter.
For US President Joe Biden, the extraordinary NATO summit will be the first trip abroad after attending the G20 summit in Rome and the subsequent climate summit in Glasgow last fall. Since he took office in January of last year, Biden has only traveled abroad twice.
In June last year, Biden attended the G7 summit in Cornwall and NATO and EU summits in Brussels. The US president had tried to close ranks with allies against Beijing and Moscow. “Russia and China are trying to drive a wedge in our transatlantic solidarity,” he stressed in Brussels. He then met with Putin for a summit in Geneva.
Stoltenberg: North America and Europe must stay together
According to Stoltenberg, the NATO summit is about “further strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defense” in the Ukraine war. “North America and Europe must stand together at this critical time,” the Norwegian stressed on Twitter. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Resnikov is said to be connected by video. Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) is expected to attend the consultations in the Belgian capital.
Far-reaching decisions at next week’s summit are considered unlikely. However, there is likely to be discussion of, among other things, whether NATO will react to Russia’s westward drive with a substantial and long-term reinforcement of the eastern flank.
Scholz rules out NATO military intervention
Foreign Minister Olaf Scholz has ruled out a NATO military intervention, despite the continued Russian advance in Ukraine, the mounting number of casualties and the destruction. The West remains confident in the sanctions imposed on Russia, the chancellor said at the 2022 “World” economic summit in the Axel Springer building. “We will not establish no-fly zones over Ukraine. That would mean a direct military confrontation with Russia, with Russian warplanes,” the Foreign Minister said. “I agree with US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and the other allies that there should be no armed conflict between NATO and Russia. No one can want that.”
Until now, however, NATO member states have been supplying anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft missiles and other military equipment to the partner country on a bilateral basis. In addition, there are deliveries of ammunition and financial and humanitarian aid in the millions. These include medical supplies for the Ukrainian armed forces. The diplomats stressed that the military support was not provided through NATO as an organization, but based on the decisions of the national government. (agencies)