BRUSSELS — Biden and other NATO heads of state and government are meeting in Brussels for emergency talks on the alliance’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The NATO summit begins an extraordinary day of diplomacy in which the U.S. president will also meet with Group of Seven leaders and attend a meeting of the European Council.
At NATO headquarters Thursday morning, leaders are expected to announce the deployment of four new NATO battle groups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
“I expect leaders will agree to strengthen NATO’s posture in all domains,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a news conference Wednesday. He said this would involve “major increases to our forces in the eastern part of the alliance.”
Stoltenberg said the leaders will also discuss longer-term shifts in the 30-member alliance’s posture, particularly in Eastern Europe. “There is a need to reset our deterrence and defense,” he said ahead of the meeting, “and I expect that to be a substantial increase in our presence for the long term.”
The G-7 and European Union meetings are expected to focus on additional sanctions as well as efforts to curb Europe’s reliance on Russian energy.
Britain on Thursday announced additional sanctions on “strategic industries, banks and business elites,” including six more banks and several companies, notably Russian Railways; Kronshtadt, a producer of Russian drones; and the Wagner Group, a notorious mercenary outfit. Individuals on the list include Herman Gref, CEO of Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and Polina Kovaleva, the stepdaughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“These oligarchs, businesses and hired thugs are complicit in the murder of innocent civilians and it is right that they pay the price,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.
Those added to the sanctions list Thursday will have their assets in the United Kingdom frozen. Individuals subject to travel bans will also prohibited from traveling to or from Britain.