BRUSSELS (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden and Western allies vowed the United States and its NATO allies would respond if Russia used chemical weapons in Ukraine at a press conference following an emergency meeting with NATO allies in Brussels.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Biden took questions for nearly 20 minutes Thursday evening, addressing warnings of a possible chemical weapons attack by Russia in Ukraine and the effects it would have back in the United States. The President was asked if the U.S. had specific intelligence showing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering using chemical weapons and if the U.S. or NATO respond with military action if he did.
“I’m not going to give you intelligence data, number one,” Biden said in response. “Number two, we would respond. We would respond if he uses it, and the nature of the response would depend on the nature of the use.”
Biden has repeatedly vowed U.S. troops would not be on the ground in Ukraine and did not lay out what that response might look like if chemical weapons are used.
Thursday also saw the United States confirm the country will welcome over 100,000 refugees from Ukraine as they flee from Russia forces.
“Many Ukrainian refugees will wish to stay in Europe, closer to their homes, but also will welcome 100,000 Ukrainians to the United States, with a focus on reuniting families. And we will invest $320 million dollars to bolster democratic resilience and defend human rights to Ukraine and neighboring countries,” Biden told reporters.
The President announced new sanctions against Russia, including targeting the majority of the Duma and several wealthy Russians. With Biden facing pressure from Zelenskyy, he also unveiled the U.S. will welcome up to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine and provide $1 billion in new humanitarian aid.
“Putin is getting exactly the opposite of what he intended to have as a consequence of going into Ukraine,” Biden said.
Biden also said he is in support to remove Russia from the G-20 group of economies but added the rest of the NATO allies would also need to be in agreement.
The President did not say if the United States has evidence that China has helped Russia avoid any economic harm from sanctions or sold American high-tech equipment to Russia.
“I think that China understands that its economic futures much more closely tied to the West than it is to Russia,” said Biden. “And so I am hopeful that he does not get engaged.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters Russia using chemical weapons would be a violation of international law.
“It will be a blatant violation of international law and with far-reaching consequences,” Stoltenberg said.
Thursday saw all 30 NATO leaders meet in Brussels as Russia’s war on Ukraine intensifies. Biden will meet with the European Council — the political body of the European Union — and with leaders of the G-7, the major industrial nations.
Senior U.S. administration officials said in a telephone conference on Thursday the mood at the NATO meeting was “sober” and “resolute”.
“There was a very strong sense that we are facing a significant historical moment, and very strong support from all the leaders who spoke about the need to defend our democracy,” the official said.