A Belgian delegation greets U.S. President Joe Biden as he arrives for an extraordinary NATO summit to discuss ongoing deterrence and defense efforts in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine March 23, 2022 in Brussels, Belgium. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
March 23, 2022
By John Chalmers
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Western nations will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday that his country is facing “ruinous” costs during an unprecedented one-day trio of NATO, G7 and EU summits that U.S. President Joe Biden is set to attend will pay for the invasion of Ukraine.
The hectic day of summits to maintain Western unity begins at the headquarters of the transatlantic defense alliance in Brussels, where leaders will agree to strengthen forces on Europe’s eastern flank.
Troubled by the prospect of Russia escalating war with its neighbor after months of conflict, the 30 NATO nations will also agree to send Kyiv equipment to counter biological, chemical and nuclear attacks.
The determination to hit Moscow with massive sanctions is underscored by an emergency meeting of the G7 advanced economies, including Japan. Then, at a summit meeting of the 27 nations of the European Union, countries representing more than half of the world’s gross domestic product will have met in one day.
“We need to make sure that the decision to invade a sovereign independent country is understood as a strategic failure that will have catastrophic costs for Putin and Russia,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the European Parliament on Wednesday.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine has killed thousands and forced almost a quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people from their homes, including more than 3.5 million who have fled the country, according to the United Nations.
Putin says his forces are engaged in a “special military operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” Ukraine. Ukraine and the West say Putin has launched an unprovoked war of aggression.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address both the NATO and EU summits via video conference.
He has unsuccessfully pleaded for NATO to create a no-fly zone over Ukraine, but Western allies have slapped sweeping sanctions on Russia and committed billions of dollars worth of arms and aid to Ukraine’s defense.
NATO has greatly increased its presence on the Alliance’s eastern borders, with some 40,000 troops spread out from the Baltic to the Black Sea. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said leaders would discuss deploying four new combat units in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia.
“I expect leaders will agree to strengthen NATO’s stance on all fronts, with significant reinforcements in the eastern portion of the alliance. On land, in the air and at sea,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday before the summit.
Washington said Biden and his European counterparts would announce new sanctions against Russia and measures to tighten existing sanctions. However, EU diplomats downplayed expectations of major new sanctions.
EU measures taken so far include freezing assets of Russia’s central bank, but some member states are resisting calls to target Russian energy exports as they are heavily dependent on them.
“I don’t expect any big announcements or decisions,” said an EU diplomat. “It’s more about taking stock and looking ahead to see where further lines of action lie.”
EU leaders are expected to agree at their two-day summit to buy gas together to reduce dependence on Russian fuel and build a buffer against supply shocks. [L3N2VQ3IG]
Brussels is also seeking a deal with Biden to secure additional US liquefied natural gas supplies for the next two winters.
“The consequences of this war on Europe’s security architecture will be far-reaching,” said EU Executive President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday. “And I’m not just talking about military security. But energy security and even food security are also at stake.”
(Additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, Kate Abnett, Sabine Siebold and Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Gareth Jones)
https://www.oann.com/russia-will-pay-west-to-warn-putin-in-trio-of-summits/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=russia-will-pay-west-to-warn-putin-in-trio-of-summits “Russia will pay”: West warns Putin at three summits