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Biden and Other Leaders in Brussels for Ukraine Summits

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Dozens of Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden, have gathered in Brussels for a consultation carousel centred on the war in Ukraine. A summit of both NATO and the European Union and seven of the world’s major economies is on the agenda.

 

The day will begin at 10 a.m. at NATO headquarters in Brussels. The leaders of the thirty NATO countries, including Prime Minister Mark Rutte, will then discuss further aid to non-member Ukraine, whose president will also dial-in. They will approve the deployment of additional troops in eastern member states such as Hungary and Romania, watching Russia advance in their direction. According to NATO sources, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has postponed his retirement for a year due to tensions.

The leaders of six major NATO countries then see their Japanese counterparts sit down for a short G7 summit. The seven major industrialized countries are also discussing Russia’s war against Ukraine. Japan is less aloof than usual and largely follows the sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and Europe.

At the end of the afternoon, Biden is also a guest at the EU summit for a few hours, although he leaves before dinner. It is a rarity for an American president to sit down at such a meeting of EU heads of government. He hopes to persuade them to tackle Russia even harder and, for example, to curtail its exports of gas and oil. That is an important source of income for the Kremlin. But EU leaders disagree and have already made it clear that this is not happening yet.

Concrete measures are not immediately the goal of the consultation marathon, diplomats say. At the forefront is the signal to Moscow that the West is still acting unitedly and standing up to the war. Biden said in advance that he would “mobilize the international community in Europe to support Ukraine and ensure that Putin pays a heavy economic toll for the war he has chosen”.

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