President Joe Biden raised the question at a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Thursday after a meeting with European leaders on Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and a request from Ukrainian President Zelensky to do more to help them.
As he began, Biden announced a range of new sanctions against Russia, targeting the Duma and the majority of Russian elites, that the US would welcome up to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine and provide $ 1 billion in new humanitarian aid, as he faced pressure from Zelensky. Provide more supplies in Ukraine.
“The outcome of his visit to Ukraine is exactly the opposite of what Putin wanted,” Biden said.
The president traveled abroad to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to NATO allies, to attend a pre-arranged meeting of the European Council – the European Union’s political body – and to attend an extraordinary summit of 30 NATO leaders. Group of Seven or G-7, leaders of major industrialized nations.
Biden warned that Russia’s use of chemical weapons in Ukraine posed a “real threat” to Biden, whose first question was whether the United States had gathered specific intelligence that suggested Russian President Vladimir Putin was considering deploying chemical weapons and that the United States or NATO Whether. If he uses them, he will respond with military action.
“I’m not going to give you intelligence, number one,” Biden said. “Number two, we will respond. If he uses it, we will respond, and the nature of the response will depend on the nature of the use.”
ABC News chief White House reporter Cecilia Vega asked, “If chemical weapons are used in Ukraine, could it trigger a NATO military response?”
“It would be kind of a reaction,” Biden replied “Whether or not – you are asking whether NATO will cross – we will decide at that time.”
Significantly, Biden did not elaborate on what that reaction might be or whether it involved sending US troops to Ukraine, which Biden promised not to do.
Biden also gave a definite “yes” answer when asked if he believed Russia should be removed from the G20, but noted that it would “depend on the G20” to make that decision.
He said this point was raised by G20 leaders today and he raised the possibility that Ukraine would be able to attend future G20 summits if Russia could not be removed due to non-compliance with the “Indonesia and others” agreement.
And when asked if Zelensky would have to leave any Ukrainian territory for a ceasefire with Russia, Biden said, “This is a complete verdict based on Ukraine.”
According to senior US administration officials, the mood at the NATO emergency summit has so far been “calm” and “determined”.
An official told reporters during a telephone briefing on Thursday that “there was a very strong idea that we were facing an important historical moment, and there was very strong support from all leaders to talk about the need to protect our democracy.”
Officials said Zelesky, who addressed NATO leaders from a distance, spoke “very clearly” and “reiterated his request for continued and enhanced Western security assistance.”
“Significantly, no no-fly zone was requested,” an official added. “Also, there was no request for NATO membership.”
Zelesky asked NATO to pay 1% of all his tanks and said he had not been answered.
“I have been repeating the same thing for a month now: to save the people and our cities, Ukraine needs military assistance without sanctions, since Russia is using its entire arsenal against us,” he continued. “Ukraine wanted your plane so that we would not lose so many people. And you have thousands of fighter jets, but we have not been given one yet.”
“We wanted tanks so we could blockade our cities that are dying now,” he added. “You have at least 20,000 tanks. Ukraine has asked us to give or sell one percent of all your tanks – 1% – but we still do not have a clear answer.”
Speaking after Zelensky’s speech, Biden said Thursday marked the one month since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. He discussed the sanctions already imposed and expressed strong support for humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine as well as reaffirmed his support for Article 5, which is the cornerstone of NATO and says an attack on one member is an attack on all members. .
Since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his aggression a month ago, 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled the country and a few million more have been internally displaced.
Biden is scheduled to hold a meeting with refugees in Poland on Friday.
As the war continues, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced Wednesday that the State Department has conducted a formal assessment that Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine.
ABC News’ Ben Gittson, Connor Finnegan, Sarah Kolinowski and Justin Gomez contributed to this report.