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Biden warns NATO retaliation if Russia uses biochemical weapons

Biden warns NATO retaliation if Russia uses biochemical weapons

Posted March. 26, 2022 07:27,   

Updated March. 26, 2022 07:27


U.S. President Joe Biden said on Thursday that if Russia were to use biochemical weapons in Ukraine, NATO would respond. Warning that Russia’s use of chemical weapons or nuclear weapons detrimental to the NATO alliance and its member nations would be a breach of a red line, Biden has implied a possibility that the U.S. military may directly engage in the war in Ukraine.

Speaking in the aftermath of the emergency summit of the NATO allies in Brussels, the U.S. president said that the NATO would respond if Russia uses a biological and chemical weapon. “The nature of the response would depend on the nature of the use,” said Biden. G7 leaders also warned Russia not to resort to chemical and biological weapons and that they would take additional measures when necessary.

In response to a question about whether Russia would be thrown out of the G20 club of leading economic nations, Biden expressed support, but he also said that the expulsion of Russia from G20 would be difficult, as Indonesia and others do not agree. In that case, Biden said, G20 might invite Ukraine to the G20 meeting.

Western leaders urged China not to assist Russia's war on Ukraine. “China understands that its economy is more closely related to the West than to Russia,” Biden said. “If President Xi Jinping assists Russia, China would be put at great risk with regard to its economic relations with Europe and the U.S, as well as its economic growth.” Citing an anonymous U.S. government official’s word, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. government is contemplating on a secondary boycott of China and India that keep trading with Russia in disregard of economic sanctions.

China has been siding with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it displayed a bit more prudence this time, saying that there is a line that should not be crossed. In an interview with the Phoenix Television in Hong Kong, Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Qin Gang said that there is a limit to the Chinese relationship with Russia, set by the UN Charter, international law, and fundamental principle of international relations. Some critics analyzed that China is thinking of an “exit strategy” as indiscriminately supporting Russia, while Russia’s massacre of civilians in Ukraine continues and the possibility of using chemical and biological weapons is looming, is difficult. Yet Ambassador Qin Gang said China would respond if the Western allies issue a secondary boycott.

Youn-Jong Kim zozo@donga.com