NATO will react if Russia uses chemical weapons -Biden
United States President Joe Biden has announced that Nato “would respond” if Russia uses chemical weapons in Ukraine.
Biden – who is in Europe for talks with allies – did not specify what that might mean.
His statements came on an unprecedented day of emergency summits in Brussels, where Western leaders demonstrated a united front against Russia’s invasion.
President Biden is travelling to Poland on Friday where more than two million Ukrainians have escaped from the fighting.
When asked whether the use of chemical weapons by Russia’s Vladimir Putin would provoke a military response from Nato, Mr Biden answered that it “would trigger a response in kind”.
“We would respond if he uses it. The nature of the response would depend on the nature of the use,” he said.
Western nations have cautioned that Russia could be readying to use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, as its invasion of the country reaches its fifth week.
According to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, it would be “catastrophic” if Mr Putin used chemical weapons, while Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has made it apparent it would result in drastic consequences.
The White House has established a national security team to look at how the US and allies should respond if Russia undertook a chemical attack.
Earlier, Mr Biden has emphasized that the US and Nato would not dispatch troops to Ukraine over concerns of a direct military confrontation with Russia.
Biden said this after an emergency meeting of Nato leaders to deliberate how to react to the possible use of weapons of mass destruction, as well as military aid for Ukraine and tougher sanctions on Moscow.
“The single most important thing is for us to stay united,” the president said after the summit.
Mr Biden is anticipated to declare a major deal with the EU on liquified natural gas, in an operation to lessen Europe’s reliance on Russian energy.
The pact would see Washington provide the EU with at least 15 billion additional cubic metres of the fuel by the end of the year.
Four new Nato battle groups are being deployed to Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria.
Also, the president said he would endorse calls for Russia’s expulsion from the G20 group of wealthy nations. However, he said that would rely on the views of other members.
After a meeting with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on Friday morning, Mr Biden will head to Poland. The president will then visit the city of Rszeszów, close to the border with Ukraine, where he will meet Ukrainian refugees.
Mr Biden has declared that the US would take in up to 100,000 Ukrainians and provide an additional $1bn (£756m) in food, medicine, water and other supplies.
Since the invasion, more than 3.6 million refugees have fled Ukraine, including more than 2.1 million to Poland.
Furthermore, Mr Biden will visit US troops who have recently been deployed there.