The leaders of Western military alliance NATO, including U.S. President Joe Biden, have met in Brussels for an emergency meeting about the war in Ukraine. The leaders agreed to send more troops to NATO member countries in Eastern Europe.
Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but continued to ask for more Western support during the summit.
More Troops to Eastern Europe
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, said four new “battlegroups” would be sent to Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia. He called NATO “the strongest Alliance in the world… as long as we stand together, we are also safe.”
He said NATO had increased its military, financial, and humanitarian support to Ukraine to assist its “self-defence”. There has been no suggestion that NATO troops will enter Ukraine.
Where Is the Line?
U.S. President Joe Biden said the summit was a sign NATO has “never been more united than it is today. Putin is getting exactly the opposite of what he intended.”
However, Stoltenberg and Biden would not confirm whether NATO troops would enter Ukraine if Russia used chemical weapons. Stoltenberg said chemical weapons “would fundamentally change” the war but declined to “speculate”. Biden said the West “would respond” but that “the nature of the response would depend on the nature of the use”.
Ukraine Asks for More
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking to the summit by video link, asked for more military equipment, including planes.
“It is true we are not members of the alliance… but we have a feeling that we are in a grey zone between the West and Russia and yet we are defending all our shared values… we need unlimited military support,” he said.
“We ask for planes so that we don’t lose so many people. You have these planes, but we have not received a single one. We ask for tanks so that we could unblock our cities that are dying now… you have at least 20,000 tanks. Ukraine asks for 1%, 1% of all your tanks… but we, so far, have not heard a clear response… we are receiving support from some members of the alliance. And I am very grateful… but NATO has yet to show what NATO can do to save people’s lives… Ukraine is waiting for real action.”