US President Joe Biden will travel to Europe next week to strengthen cooperation with NATO and the European Union (EU) in the face of the war in Ukraine, while promising to “step up” the help this country.
The White House announced on Tuesday that Biden will be in Brussels on Thursday, March 24, when he will take part in an extraordinary summit recently convened by NATO as well as another meeting of European Union (EU) leaders which was already planned.
POSSIBILITY OF OTHER STOPS
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not rule out that the president may also visit other European countries, noting that details of what will be Biden’s third trip to Europe since arriving in power are still being finalized, and the first since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
While Psaki did not confirm rumors that Biden could visit Poland, he did say the president was interested in “the aspect of the refugee crisis” unfolding in Eastern Europe at the time. aftermath of the war in Ukraine.
During his participation in the extraordinary NATO summit in Brussels, Biden will “reaffirm the strong commitment” of the United States with its allies in the organization, explained the spokeswoman during her daily press conference.
He will do so at a time when NATO is assessing a “substantial increase” in its pre-positioned forces and equipment on the Alliance’s eastern flank, a matter the organization’s defense ministers hope to agree on. Wednesday.
During his visit to Brussels, Biden will also discuss “deterrence and defense efforts to respond” to the Russian invasion and “humanitarian support for those affected by the violence,” the spokeswoman added.
MORE HELP FOR UKRAINE
Biden rightly praised this Tuesday the humanitarian aid that his government has provided to Ukraine, by signing a new budget law which provides 13.6 billion dollars in military and economic aid for this country and for Europe. ballast.
“We will be able to quickly step up our response and help alleviate the suffering that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war is causing the people of Ukraine and the region,” Biden promised during an act at the House. White.
The president, who did not discuss his plans to travel to Europe, acknowledged that it is “extremely difficult to supply Ukraine as Russian attacks continue”, but said that more and more ” to become true”.
He added that tomorrow, Wednesday, he would give more details on how US aid to Ukraine and Eastern Europe will work, which he plans to do after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky s is spoken virtually before both houses of the United States Congress.
PSAKI acknowledged that Zelensky is likely to “ask for more money” to deal with the Russian invasion, which lasted nearly three weeks and caused at least three million people to flee Ukraine, so – according to the ‘UNICEF – every second a Ukrainian boy becomes a refugee.
DIFFERENCES ON MILITARY AID
In addition to funds, Zelensky has insisted on several requests for military aid, which Biden is reluctant to allow, among which the imposition of a no-fly zone to stop Russian bombardments on cities stands out.
Ukraine’s president made the request again on Tuesday during a virtual speech to the Canadian Parliament, and Biden’s spokeswoman again clarified that this option was not on the table, due to the high risk of military escalation it would entail.
“(Biden) continues to believe that a no-fly zone could lead us to war with Russia. I don’t think there’s a lot of support for that idea right now (in Congress),” he said. said PSAki on Tuesday.
The United States also canceled a plan last week for Poland to hand over its Soviet-made planes to Ukraine, saying it could provoke a reaction from Russia that could lead to a military escalation with NATO. .
The White House has, however, defended the scale of its military aid to Ukraine, which amounts to $1.2 billion so far this year and includes sending Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles since Poland and Romania.
Separately, the United States on Tuesday announced sanctions against 11 senior Russian government and military defense officials, and downplayed Moscow’s imposition of travel restrictions on U.S. President Joe Biden, and other senior US officials.
“It won’t surprise anyone to learn that none of us are planning tourist trips to Russia and none of us have bank accounts that we can’t access,” said Psaki, who makes part of the persons sanctioned.
He also joked that Russia appeared to be mistaken in putting Biden’s name on its sanctions list because it did not include the nickname ‘Junior’ which distinguishes him from his late father: “Your father may have been punished,” he said.