October 7, 2022

Wire Service Canada

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Biden in Brussels, new sanctions on Russian politicians

Joe Biden thanked Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo upon his arrival in Brussels for Belgium’s support of EU sanctions against Russia and for coordinating security assistance to Ukraine. “Biden will announce new sanctions on Russian political figures, oligarchs and entities.” This is what US National Security Chief Jake Sullivan said. Meanwhile, the UK will deliver another 6000 missiles to Ukraine: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this. “The United Kingdom will work with its allies to increase military and economic support for Ukraine,” Johnson said before the NATO and G7 summits in Brussels, one month after the start of the Russian invasion. The Prime Minister also announced an aid of about 30 million euros to the Ukrainian army

Biden pushes for energy sanctions, a divided EU. Born: “New Forces in the East” The United States and Europe are joining forces to boost pressure on Russia and to do so through an extraordinary test of unity, through a series of summits that encompass the full scope of cooperation: NATO, the Group of Seven, and the European Council. Joe Biden, who arrived in Brussels late in the evening, became the first US president to participate, by attending, in the 27th meeting. There is a lot of meat in the fire and it is no mystery that Biden will try to whip European allies on some thorny issues, including European dependence On Moscow’s hydrocarbons – the Russian oil embargo is still on the table – and greater military assistance to Ukraine. Differences in views, however, are not lacking. The goal then is to find the synthesis, and start again stronger. A European source notes: “It is important for the president to watch with his own eyes the different sensitivities of the EU member states.” The issue of energy – to which the second day of the summit will be devoted, along with the issue of security and defense with the adoption of the strategic compass – is already registering bewilderment by some allies. Rather than adopting new sanctions – Germany has been clear on the point: pressing too hard would plunge the EU into recession – the idea is to move forward with examining what has already been identified, to make sure there are no “holes” and that “third parties” don’t offer a way To circumvent the actions taken.

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The situation is still volatile. The Kremlin issued a decree that from now on payments for gas supplies will be in rubles and the leaders will discuss how to respond. Biden also left Washington with a warning: Russia’s use of chemical weapons in the Ukrainian theater is a “real threat.” A judgment shared and re-launched by NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg. Stoltenberg stressed that “this would change the nature of the conflict and would have dire consequences,” and then predicted, in his own way, the essence of tomorrow’s summit. Briefly. The Ukraine crisis is the biggest challenge facing the Alliance since the end of World War II, and therefore a “reset” is required that will give long-term responses. Meanwhile, NATO will strengthen itself on the eastern side with four new battle groups: in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. He also stressed that the alliance is ready to help Ukraine more, including from a military point of view, and that it will provide equipment to deal with “chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear” threats. However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked NATO to do more, to deliver “offensive weapons” to his country, such as medium-range missiles.

we will see. London agrees and will defend its case. However, Stoltenberg made it clear that “direct confrontation” with Russia should be avoided, as this would cause a new “death and destruction”. In any case, tomorrow Zelensky himself will be giving a video speech to 27, perhaps, with a round of “reactions”. Brussels strives to offer practical solutions. For example, the Solidarity Fund, which is also open to other partners. “Now the salaries have to be paid, and after that they have to be rebuilt,” another EU source explains. Others talk of an annual renewable intelligence-sharing agreement via satellite. Then there is the path to accession to the European Union, which was set at Versailles. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will expect some details of what opinion EU executives have to offer, before it is (hard) to really open the game. The last aspect, not the secondary aspect, is the relationship with China. The Brussels-Beijing summit is scheduled for April 1. The United States wants to ensure that both sides of the Atlantic speak “with one voice.” According to Washington, the Dragon would be willing to provide “material assistance” to Putin in the Ukraine conflict. Rating is not shared in Brussels. In short, the points of friction that must be addressed (between Europeans as well as between the European Union and the United States) are lacking.

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