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Biden’s Brussels journey to focus on new Russia sanctions, NATO posture plans

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden discusses the USA’ response to Russian invasion of Ukraine and warns CEOs about potential cyber assaults from Russia at Enterprise Roundtable’s CEO Quarterly Assembly in Washington, DC, U.S., March 21, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Picture

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden and his European counterparts will announce new sanctions in opposition to Russia and new measures to tighten current sanctions throughout his journey to Brussels this week, nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan mentioned on Tuesday.

Biden additionally will talk about longer-term changes to NATO pressure posture and contingencies within the case of nuclear weapons use, Sullivan mentioned. Biden additionally will announce “joint motion” on enhancing power safety in Europe, which is very reliant on Russian gas.

The US and its allies have imposed sweeping sanctions in opposition to Russia as punishment for invading Ukraine and equipped billions of {dollars} in weapons and assist for Ukraine’s protection. Biden has pledged to not ship U.S. troopers into Ukraine, however promised to maintain Washington’s dedication to defend NATO members in the event that they have been attacked.

Biden leaves on Wednesday for Brussels, the place NATO and the European Union are based mostly, for conferences on Thursday with fellow leaders. He’ll attend an emergency NATO summit, meet with G7 leaders, and tackle European Union leaders at a gathering of the European Council, Sullivan mentioned.

“He can have the chance to coordinate on the next phase of military assistance to Ukraine. He’ll be part of our companions in imposing additional sanctions on Russia and tightening the prevailing sanctions to crack down on evasion and to make sure strong enforcement,” Sullivan informed reporters.

Requested about the usage of nuclear weapons, Sullivan mentioned Russian President Vladimir Putin had raised the specter of their deployment, however the USA had not modified its nuclear posture so far.

Three days into what Moscow calls a “particular operation” to “demilitarize” Ukraine, Putin put Russia’s nuclear deterrent on excessive alert within the face of Western reprisals. On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov informed CNN that Russia’s safety coverage dictates that the nation would solely use nuclear weapons if its very existence have been threatened.

Sullivan mentioned the USA was monitoring the difficulty.

“However we’re continuously monitoring for that potential contingency and naturally we take it as severely as one may presumably take it,” Sullivan mentioned. “We shall be consulting with allies and companions on that potential contingency … and discussing what our potential response are.”

Sullivan mentioned the brand new sanctions could be rolled out on Thursday and give attention to implementing earlier penalties.

Biden may also announce additional U.S. contributions to ease humanitarian situations for refugees and civilians inside Ukraine, a lot of whom are trapped in besieged cities.

After Brussels, Biden will journey to Warsaw in a present of help for an ally that shares a border with Ukraine. Whereas in Poland he’ll “interact with U.S. troops who are actually serving to to defend NATO territory” and meet with specialists concerned within the humanitarian response to the battle, Sullivan mentioned. The U.S. president may also meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

The Duda authorities has prompt Poland change Russia within the G20 group of huge economies.

Sullivan mentioned the USA wished to seek the advice of with its allies about Russia’s G20 membership. “We imagine that it can’t be enterprise as typical in worldwide establishments and within the worldwide group,” Sullivan mentioned.

Sullivan mentioned Biden was going to Europe “to make sure we keep united, to cement our collective resolve, to ship a strong message that we’re ready and dedicated to this for so long as it takes.”

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