President BidenJoe Biden Defense and National Security – Russia’s Weak Grip on Money Slips – Biden’s Economic Approval Increases Balance/Sustainability – USAID Killed 400,000 Domestic Animals in 2021 More She spent three days in Europe as the United States and its allies plot next steps nearly a month after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, committing to stand with Ukraine, defend NATO territory and prevent a Russian president’s victory. Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich Putin The Pentagon: Russia has lost partial control of the first Ukrainian city to be captured Ukraine, Taiwan and the two Koreas: Is the world tilting toward major wars? Russian ambassador sues Italian newspaper over article referring to Putin’s death More.
Biden met with NATO and Group of Seven (G-7) leaders in Brussels before visiting Poland to mix with US forces and take in refugees who have fled Ukraine.
Officials described the trip as a show of unity between the United States and its allies in the face of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Biden and other leaders announced a series of new initiatives to bring more humanitarian and security assistance to the region.
Here are five key tips for this week’s meetings in Brussels and Poland:
Biden vows unity against Putin
Biden blamed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine directly on Putin, clearly stating in his Saturday speech, “Putin, Vladimir Putin is to blame. period.”
The three-day trip was motivated by the goal of showing the United States and its allies united and cooperating against Putin’s invasion. Biden reiterated the United States’ commitment to the NATO Treaty and Article 5 in particular, which states that an attack on one NATO ally is an attack against all.
He also ended his trip by declaring that Putin could not remain in power.
Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia, because free people refuse to live in a world of despair and darkness. “We will have a different future, a brighter future, rooted in democracy and principles, hope and light, decency and dignity, freedom, and possibility,” Biden said. “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
Since then, the White House has tried to retract those comments, saying the president was not calling for regime change, but instead that Putin would have no authority outside of Russia.
Biden called Putin a “butcher,” before his remarks on Saturday, when asked what he thought of the Russian president because he caused the conflict’s humanitarian fallout. On Friday, the president also reiterated his belief that Putin has committed war crimes, and his foreign minister Anthony BlinkenAnthony Blinken DEFENSE AND NATIONAL SECURITY – Russia’s weak grip spoils Israel to host summit with US, senior Arab officials say 300 killed in Russian air strike on Mariupol theater More The Biden administration said on Wednesday that Russian forces had committed war crimes in Ukraine.
US ramps up aid for refugees
The humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian invasion and attacks on major Ukrainian cities was a central theme of Biden’s visit, where he was briefed on the response and met with refugees who had crossed the border into Poland.
Biden has announced that the United States will take in up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, although the actual number likely falls short, given that many would prefer to move within Europe. Biden also announced $1 billion in aid to be used for food, medical care, water, blankets, and other supplies.
On Saturday, the president took a first-hand look at the humanitarian fallout from the Russian invasion, meeting refugees at PGE Narodowy Stadium in Warsaw and speaking with workers helping provide meals and care for homeless Ukrainians.
“It’s unbelievable. You see all these little kids. They just want a hug. They just want to say thank you. It makes you so proud,” Biden said, calling those who fled an “incredible group of people.”
The European Union announced separately this week that it will allocate an additional €3.4 billion to the humanitarian efforts of the Ukrainian people.
Refugee assistance is likely to be a long-term issue. Nearly four million Ukrainians fled the country within four weeks of the start of the invasion, and the number will continue to grow.
The United States and its allies are preparing for a possible Russian escalation
Biden and NATO leaders during their meetings indicated their willingness to respond and present a united front if Russia deployed chemical weapons or expanded its attacks outside Ukraine.
“We will respond if he uses them,” Biden said on Thursday about whether Putin has used chemical weapons in Ukraine.
NATO Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoana said in an interview with Associated Press That NATO is “prepared to respond proportionately” if chemical weapons are used.
Four new battle groups were formed in Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary to intensify NATO’s defense of their territories, increasing the number of NATO multinational battle groups between the Baltic and Black Seas to eight.
Biden promoted those plans on Thursday and said the United States would develop new plans for additional forces and capabilities to bolster NATO’s defenses between now and the next NATO summit in June.
“The combination of the brutal Russian war in Ukraine and the change in the physical military relationship between Russia and Belarus means, in the president’s view, that the United States and NATO need to demonstrate strength and resolve in terms of forces and capabilities based along the eastern flank,” National Security Adviser Jake SullivanJake Sullivan reports The Hill’s 12:30 – Manchin’s magical ‘yes’ vote for Biden to meet Ukrainian refugees, delivers ‘keynote speech’ on Saturday The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden raises tensions over Russia More Friday said.
In addition, NATO agreed to bolster electronic defenses and equipment to help Ukraine protect against biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear attacks, including detection and protection equipment, medical supplies, and decontamination and crisis management training.
Biden and the European Union strike a deal to reduce dependence on Russian energy
One of the biggest sources of Russia’s influence over the rest of Europe is that it is a major energy supplier, providing natural gas to parts of the continent and boosting the Russian economy in the process.
But a major deal struck between Biden and EU leaders in Brussels aims to wean Europe off Russian energy.
The two sides announced the formation of a working group to “reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels and enhance European energy security.” As part of the agreement, the United States will work with international partners to supply at least 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2022.
“This new fight for freedom has already made a few things clear. First, Europe must end its dependence on Russian fossil fuels, and we, the United States, will help,” Biden said in Warsaw on Saturday.
The European Commission has also committed to working with EU member states to ensure nearly 50 billion cubic meters of LNG is ordered from the United States through at least 2030, suggesting it would be a years-long effort to completely eliminate European dependence on Russian energy.
“We need to secure our supplies not only for next winter but also for the coming years. This is an important and significant starting point for doing so,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Friday after the arrangement was announced.
The announcement comes after other steps taken by the United States and its allies in coordination to strike the Russian energy sector. Germany announced last month that it would revoke permission to build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will transport gas from Russia to parts of Eastern Europe. The Biden administration announced earlier this month that it would ban the import of Russian oil, natural gas and coal.
Possible global food shortage looms
Biden and NATO leaders discussed potential global food shortages during their meetings in Brussels, a prospect the president warned would be “real.”
Both Russia and Ukraine are major wheat suppliers, although the United States and Canada are major wheat producers as well. The White House warned this week that the Russian invasion threatens the food security of the Middle East and Africa in particular.
“The price of these sanctions is being imposed not only on Russia, but on a huge number of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well,” Biden said on Thursday.
In an effort to combat this, Biden announced his intention to redouble joint efforts with the European Union to increase global food security and provide direct food aid, where appropriate, to prevent a crisis.
Biden and NATO leaders have spoken of urging all European countries and everyone else to “end trade restrictions on restrictions on sending food abroad,” the president said Thursday.
The president said the United States and its allies are working on how to alleviate food shortage concerns amid rising inflation and ongoing supply chain issues. Part of this effort will include increasing production in the United States and Canada.
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