Western leaders to unite for Ukraine but won’t impose no-fly zone

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Brussels: US President Joe Biden joins fellow Western leaders in Brussels on Thursday for three summits on Russia’s war in Ukraine, a month after the invasion began.

NATO, the G7 and the European Union are all holding meetings in a display of unity against the invasion of Ukraine.

Joe Biden is set to take part in all three. This will be the first-ever visit by a US president to an EU summit in Brussels.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has given the Western defensive alliance NATO a renewed sense of purpose. And, as the EU attempts to sever energy ties with Russia, it needs to forge and reinforce other relationships, particularly with the US.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will appear by video link to both NATO and EU leaders.

NATO’s 30 Presidents and Prime Ministers will agree on greater support for Ukraine and new troop deployments for Eastern allies. They aim to show solidarity to Kyiv, though only up to a point.

Many, have been willing to supply weapons. The United Kingdom said it would use both the G7 and NATO meetings to “substantively increase defensive lethal aid to Ukraine”.

But the alliance has also made clear it won’t become more directly involved and President Zelenskyy’s repeated requests for a no-fly zone over Ukraine have pretty much been ignored.

Nor is it clear how Nato would respond if Russia were to dramatically escalate the conflict in Ukraine – such as an attack on a Western weapons convoy, the use of chemical, or even tactical nuclear weapons. Nato’s red lines have so far been drawn at its borders.

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