Biden heads to Europe to mobilize anti-Russia action
US President Joe Biden is asking for back-to-back summits in Brussels on Thursday, emphasizing western togetherness.
President Joe Biden departs for Europe on Wednesday on a mission to strengthen Western unity, impose severe penalties on Russia for its special operation in Ukraine, and disrupt the post-Cold War balance of power.
Biden is asking for more at back-to-back summits in Brussels on Thursday, emphasizing togetherness.
Biden will seek to "reinforce the incredible unity we built with allies and partners," White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters.
He also said that economic sanctions, imposed by a global network of Western allies to cripple Russia's finances will be deepened.
Another package will be "rolled out in conjunction with our allies on Thursday," Sullivan said. He only said the package "will focus not just on adding new sanctions but on ensuring that there is joint effort to crack down on evasion on sanctions."
Biden will attend summits with NATO, the G7 group, and the European Council on Thursday. He flies Friday to Poland, which neighbors Ukraine and is now the frontline in what some call a new Cold War, and on Saturday he meets President Andrzej Duda.
Beijing has refused to condemn Putin's operation, but Washington hopes at least to dissuade China from actively helping the Kremlin, either by bailing out the Russian economy or sending weapons.
Sullivan highlighted there was no sign that China was providing military assistance in the wake of a nearly two-hour phone call between President Xi Jinping and Biden last Friday. "This is something we are monitoring closely," he said.
"The president will certainly consult on the question of China's potential participation in the conflict of Ukraine while he's in Brussels. He'll do so at NATO," Sullivan said.
"He'll also do so when he addresses the 27 leaders of the European Union because, on April 1st, the European Union is having a summit with China," he added.
"We believe we're very much on the same page with our European partners."
Russia launched a special military operation for several reasons, including NATO's eastward expansion. Other reasons were the Ukrainian shelling of Donbass and the killing of the people of the Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic, in addition to Moscow wanting to "denazify" and demilitarize Ukraine.
In response, the US and its allies have rolled out comprehensive sanctions, including restrictions on the Russian central bank, export control measures, SWIFT cutoff for select banks, and closure of airspace to all Russian flights. Many of their companies have suspended their Russian operations.