The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Thursday reinforced its support for Ukraine and its antagonism towards Russia during an extraordinary summit meeting that took place in the city of Brussels, Belgium.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that he has decided to equip the organization’s forces on Europe’s eastern flank (i.e. closer to Russia) with equipment to prepare for a hypothetical scenario in which Russia employs chemical, biological weapons. or nuclear in Ukraine.
Also on Thursday, the G7, group of the 7 most industrialized economies in the world, announced new sanctions against Russia.
NATO leaders condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “in the strongest possible terms”.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, attended the NATO meeting via videoconference. He called for more military support to face the Russian invasion.
Zelensky explicitly asked NATO countries to hand over “1% of their planes, 1% of their tanks” to Ukraine to face the Russian invasion. “To save people and our cities, Ukraine needs unrestricted military aid,” he said. He added that Russia “uses its entire arsenal against us without restrictions”.
According to a US government official who asked not to be named, NATO members have considered the possible transfer of anti-ship missiles to Ukraine, although that possibility presents “technical challenges”.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg did not give details about the war equipment that the alliance will pass on to Ukrainian forces.
He said that the leaders of the countries that make up NATO are worried about the possibility that Russia will use chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in Ukraine and, therefore, decided to equip its forces on the eastern flank with equipment to face this scenario.
NATO has already dispatched tactical combat groups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and is preparing to do the same in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia.
The topic of chemical weapons was mentioned a few times. During his speech, Zelensky said that there is use of phosphorus bombs.
US President Joe Biden has said he will respond if Russian President Vladimir Putin uses chemical weapons in his war in Ukraine.
“We will respond if [Putin] use them. The nature of the response will depend on the nature of the use,” Biden said after a NATO summit in Brussels.
Joe Biden in Brussels on March 24, 2022 — Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP
In parallel, the G7 (USA, Germany, Japan, UK, France, Italy and Canada) issued a statement committing to work together to end Russia’s ability to finance Vladimir Putin’s war.”
The group stated that any transaction carried out in gold is covered by existing sanctions.
The G7 also issued a call to review Russia’s space in international organizations, according to a senior US official.
Biden wants G20 without Russia
Biden said he thinks Russia should be kicked out of the G20, the group of 20 largest economies in the world. According to the American, this was the subject of conversation with other leaders in Brussels.
The US president even said that if countries like Indonesia or others do not agree to Russia’s expulsion, Ukraine should have access to the G20 meetings.
Biden attended both meetings, the G7 and NATO.
The US government has announced that the United States is willing to take in up to 100,000 Ukrainians who fled the war.
The US Executive said it would unlock “more than $1 billion in additional funding” to bolster humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
These resources will also be used to face the consequences of the war in Ukraine, in particular, the increase in food insecurity on a global level.
Finally, the Americans announced massive sanctions against Russian politicians, tycoons and companies. These are “total blockade sanctions against more than 400 people and entities, including the Russian Parliament and its members, additional Russian elites and Russian defense companies that fuel Putin’s war machine,” the statement said. US government.
NATO renews Stoltenberg mandate
On Thursday, NATO also renewed for one year the mandate of Stoltenberg, who earlier this year had formally announced that he would assume the presidency of the Central Bank of his country, Norway.
Stoltenberg, an economist, 62, was Norwegian prime minister on two occasions. He announced that he will remain at the head of Otna until September 30, 2023.
Currently, there are 100,000 US troops in European space, 40,000 of which are under direct NATO command.