President Biden spent Thursday in Brussels with NATO allies, leaders of the EU and the Group of Seven (G-7) which consists of industrialized nations, to unitedly act against Russia for its conflict with Ukraine. The conflict is now four weeks old and there is no resolution, as yet. Biden has called for this extraordinary summit in Belgium to maintain both unity among allies as well as to punish Russia for its aggression with tough economic sanctions.
Some of the ways in which Biden has succeeded are the following:
Biden has managed to unify diverse factions in both NATO as well as EU walking a fine diplomatic line. Although the U.S. and the U.K. have banned Russian oil and gas imports, he has not expected the same from the rest of Europe as they are dependent on Russia for both oil and nation gas.
Biden has pledged to take in 100,000 refugees to the U.S. He is also provided aid to Poland and other countries who border Ukraine as they face the economic and social burden of housing and feeding millions of refugees who have crossed over. He said that an additional billion dollars will be given for humanitarian aid for Ukraine as well as for refugees who have fled to neighboring countries.
Biden has also pledged a lot of military support to Ukraine, without sending troops. The U.S. administration has sent several millions of dollars worth in army supplies and more. Although Biden has been unable to get Poland to supply weapons to Ukraine, it is in talks with both Slovakia and Turkey, to provide anti-air systems to Ukraine.
He, together with the rest of NATO allies, have resisted repeated calls by Ukrainian president Zelensky’s proposal of a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Providing such a no-fly zone would be tantamount to be directly participating in the war against Russia.
Biden has spearheaded sanctions against Russian oligarchs, government officials, politicians, banks, industries, gold sales and more, in Russia. The economic sanctions have reduced the rouble to rubble though Russia has started fighting back by asking Europe to make energy payments in roubles.
Some of the challenges ahead for President Biden is to get China aboard with the western world who has been supportive about sanctions against Putin and Russia. China has not ruled out supporting Russia, whether it would be through military support or through economic activities, while other countries have boycotted Russia. There was a bonhomie between President Xi Xinjiang and President Vladimir Putin during the Olympics in Beijing and this could dampen the West’s expectations of China joining almost the rest of the world; to condemn or punish Russia.
(Photo: Facebook President Joe Biden)