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Montevideo, August 17th 2022 - 20:11 UTC

 

 

NATO to respond if Russia uses chemical weapons, Biden warns

Friday, March 25th 2022 - 09:55 UTC
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The US President said Russia should be expelled from the G-20 (of which Argentina and Brazil are a part) and Ukraine be invited instead The US President said Russia should be expelled from the G-20 (of which Argentina and Brazil are a part) and Ukraine be invited instead

US President Joseph Biden Thursday said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would take direct action if Russia resorted to chemical weapons in Ukraine.

The US head of state made those remarks in Brussels during a press conference after attending an alliance summit. The convention focused on increasing NATO's defensive capabilities in Eastern Europe to protect countries close to the war-torn area.

“We would respond” if President Vladimir Putin uses chemical weapons, he said. “The nature of our response would depend on the nature of the use,” Biden stressed. He also pointed out his Russian colleague was “banking on NATO being split,” but it “has never, never been more united than we are today.”

Asked whether Ukraine needs to cede any territory to achieve a cease-fire with Russia, Biden responded, “I don't believe that they're going to have to do that,” but that is the judgment of Kyiv to make.

Biden also said he believed Russia should be removed from the Group of 20 (G-20), the world's leading economies, and that Ukraine allowed in instead. He also announced new economic sanctions against more than 400 wealthy Russians, elected officials, and defense contractors to prevent the Russian Central Bank from using international reserves, including gold.

“Our sanctions on Russia are unprecedented -- in no other circumstance have we moved so swiftly and in such a coordinated fashion to impose devastating costs on any other country. The ruble has depreciated substantially and is expected by markets to weaken further. The Moscow Stock Exchange closed for weeks,” the White House said in a statement Thursday. The Central Bank of Russia has doubled interest rates to 20% and companies are being forced to turn over foreign exchange for rubles to provide the Russian government with hard currency.

“Russia's attack on Ukraine threatens global security. Its assault on international norms makes the world less safe. President Putin's escalatory rhetoric is irresponsible and destabilizing,” NATO leaders said in a joint statement.

After the NATO meeting, Biden attended a Group of Seven summit where leaders declined to propose new sanctions and instead called for fully implementing measures already in place.

“We will continue to cooperate closely, including by engaging other governments on adopting similar restrictive measures to those already imposed by G7 members,” a final statement draft said.

Biden later met with European Council President Charles Michel and attended a summit of the European Council. Michel was re-elected as head of the EC on Thursday by a unanimous vote.

In a joint statement, Biden and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said they are “united in our resolve to defend shared values, including democracy, respect for human rights, global peace and stability, and the rules-based international order.

Biden will travel to Poland Friday to meet with President Andrzej Duda.

Addressing the summit via video, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky virtually addressed the summit asking for more support for his country. ”Ukraine does not have a powerful air defense system, we have far less aviation than Russians do,“ he said. ”I ask you to reassess your positions and think about security in Europe and in the whole world. You can give us just 1% of all your airplanes, just 1% of your tanks.“

”Russia has no intention of stopping in Ukraine,“ he declared. ”It wants to go further. Against Eastern members of NATO. The Baltic states. Poland, for sure,” he added.

 

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