President Joe Biden has marked one month since the war began in Ukraine by imposing more economic sanctions on Russia on Thursday and supporting its expulsion from the Group of 20 World Leaders, a step that would further isolate the Kremlin and its role in the world economy limited.
Biden told a news conference in Brussels that he supported calls to abandon Russia from the G-20, which is made up of leaders from the world’s most important economies. He noted that the final decision rests with the group’s membership.
“The most important thing is that we must remain united,” Biden said after a trio of summits in which European allies claimed they would help Ukraine and punish Russia for as long as it took.
In addition to new sanctions, the United States and its allies have announced more humanitarian aid to Ukrainians and discussed the strengthening of powers in Eastern Europe in the near and longer term.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Biden said, anything thrown at him could take another month, so the alliance should not crack. Biden said that was why he called on Thursday for an emergency meeting of NATO, followed by a meeting with the leaders of the other G-7 countries and another with all 27 leaders of the European Union countries.
Trans-Atlantic “solidarity remains essential,” tweeted NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Here are highlights from the first full day of Biden’s four-day trip to Europe:
More sanctions against Russia
Biden and US allies have slammed Russia with more sanctions, even as Putin’s economy shrinks to half the size it was before the invasion.
Leaders of the Group of Seven, or G-7, which is made up of the world’s leading economies, have said they will restrict the Russian central bank’s use of gold in transactions. Western leaders kicked Russia out of the group in 2014 after its annexation of Crimea.
The United States has announced a new round of sanctions targeting defense companies, the head of Russia’s largest bank and more than 300 members of the Russian Duma.
If the G-20 leaves Russia in the group, Ukraine should be allowed to attend its meetings, Biden said.
Russia, which had the world’s 11th largest economy before the invasion of Ukraine, will fall out of the top 20 due to the sanctions imposed by NATO allies, a senior administration official said.
Sanctions:Where US allies target hundreds of sanctions against Russia
‘War criminal’: As Biden becomes personally involved with Putin, US-Russia relationship hits dangerous crisis
More humanitarian aid
The United States will accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and others fleeing Russia’s invasion and provide more than $ 1 billion in humanitarian aid, the administration announced.
The funding will pay for food, shelter, clean water, medical supplies and other forms of assistance.
Although many Ukrainian refugees prefer to stay in Europe where they will be closer to family and their homes, the Biden administration is working to expand and develop programs focusing on welcoming Ukrainians who have family members in the US.
Food shortages worldwide have been a major concern as Russia and Ukraine are top producers of wheat.
“It’s going to be real,” Biden said of food outages.
Canada and the United States – also top producers of the crop – have discussed how to increase production.
Through the propaganda veil by: US, Schwarzenegger, hackers give Russians an uncensored view of war in Ukraine
Zelenskyy seeks 1% military solution
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed leaders via video and urged NATO to provide Ukraine with “1% of all your aircraft, 1% of all your tanks.”
“When we have it all, it will give us, just like you, 100% security,” he said.
He did not repeat his request for a “fly-free” zone.
US and NATO officials have rejected Zelenskyy’s frequent no-fly requests over concerns that the defense of Ukrainian airspace would jeopardize an escalation of the war.
“We have a responsibility to prevent this conflict from becoming a full-fledged war in Europe,” Stoltenberg said.
Zelenskyy did not ask Ukraine to become a member of the alliance. Russia is opposed to Ukraine joining NATO, one of the conditions set by Moscow in the failed negotiations before troops invaded Ukraine.
Biden warns Russia not to use chemical weapons
Biden said the United States and NATO allies would “react” if Russia used chemical weapons.
“The nature of the answers depends on the nature of the use,” he said.
Biden did not want to elaborate on whether the United States has gathered specific information showing whether Putin uses chemical weapons.
Video:Zelenskyy challenged in speech at NATO summit after month-long Russian invasion
More:Mapping and tracking of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
NATO leaders have called on China and other countries “to refrain from supporting Russia’s war effort in any way and to refrain from any action that helps Russia circumvent sanctions.”
Biden said he was “hopeful” that Chinese President Xi Jinping would not assist Russia in his war against Ukraine, but declined to say whether he saw any indication that China would intervene.
“China understands that its economic future is much more closely linked to the West than it is to Russia,” Biden said. “And that’s why I’m hope he does not get engaged.”
Biden said he made “no threats” to Xi last week when the presidents held a virtual meeting, but pointed to the number of U.S. companies withdrawing from Russia because of Putin’s “barbaric behavior.”
“Mermaid, mermaid, mermaid!” Tense, terrifying days in Odesa as Ukrainian residents worry about Russian progress
Biden will travel to Warsaw, Poland, on Friday for a meeting with President Andrzej Duda and a possible meeting with Ukrainian refugees. The two leaders will likely discuss how allies are responding to the humanitarian crisis unleashed by the war.
The White House did not respond to questions about whether Biden would deal with refugees in Europe. Biden hinted at his news conference on Thursday that such a meeting would take place.
“I’m going to try to see those people and, I hope, I will be able to see – think I’m not supposed to say where I’m going, am I?” Biden said. “But anyway, I hope I get to see a lot of people.”
On Saturday, Biden will comment on efforts to hold Russia accountable for the war before returning to Washington.
Contributed by: Joey Garrison and Rebecca Morin
Putin ‘will not stop’ with Ukraine: Why Americans Should Care About Russia’s Aggression Against Its Neighbor
“Russia alone is responsible”:Biden says the world will hold Putin accountable for “unprovoked and unjustified attack” on Ukraine