White House National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan says President Joe Biden plans to announce new sanctions against Russia on Thursday while in Brussels.
Biden, who is scheduled to attend a special NATO meeting and address the European Council summit, is expected to focus on efforts to enforce existing sanctions already announced by the United States and its allies.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said he would join our partners in imposing further sanctions on Russia and tightening existing sanctions.
Biden, traveling to Brussels and Poland – which has received more than 2 million Ukrainian refugees fleeing since the February 24 attacks – seeks to push for continued unity among Western allies as Russia continues its brutal offensive in Ukraine.
In Poland, Biden will meet with Polish President Andrzej Dudar, who has called for more US assistance and increased military presence in the eastern part of NATO as the war begins. The United States has already more than doubled the regular troop presence of more than 4,000 U.S. troops. Currently, there are about 10,000 U.S. troops in Poland.
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania have also called for greater NATO or US military presence in recent weeks.
Sullivan suggested that Biden was planning to talk “about long-term alignment with the position of NATO forces in the East.”
“We think it’s the right place for him to be able to see the troops, to see the humanitarian experts and to meet a frontline and very weak ally,” Sullivan said of Biden’s visit to Poland.
Talks are already underway on troop coordination.
Last week, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and his counterpart weighed in on what defenses to deploy on the eastern edge of the organization, from Estonia in the north to Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in the Black Sea to Bulgaria and Romania.
The goal is to dissuade President Vladimir Putin from ordering an attack on any of the 30 allies; Not just for the duration of this war, but for the next 5-10 years. Before launching it, Putin demanded that NATO halt its expansion and withdraw its forces from the East. The opposite is happening.
In the last two months alone, the U.S. presence in Europe has grown from about 80,000 troops to about 100,000, up from about 1997, when the United States and its NATO allies began expanding the alliance that Putin has threatened. Russia and vice versa. By comparison, in 1991, the year the Soviet Union collapsed, according to Pentagon records, the United States had 305,000 troops in Europe, including 224,000 in Germany alone. Since then the number has steadily declined, reaching 101,000 in 2005 and approximately 64,000 in 2020.
Biden and NATO have repeatedly said that while the United States and NATO non-NATO members will provide arms and other defense assistance to Ukraine, they are determined to avoid any escalation by Kiev that could lead to a greater war with Russia.
Polish leaders have called for a Western peacekeeping mission to intervene in Ukraine, a move that could lead the United States and other allies to escalate the war.
Sullivan added that Biden would “announce joint measures to increase European energy security and reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.”
Associated Press writers Robert Burns and Colin Long in Washington and Lorne Cook in Brussels contributed.