In a bid to push further sanctions against Russia, US President Joe Biden on Wednesday kicked off his EU tour starting from Brussels to talk out a new strategy with European leaders about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Biden also looks to persuade the EU nations to slap more sanctions on Moscow including members of the Russian parliament. According to the White House, Biden leaves on a trip that will include talks in Brussels with NATO and European leaders and a visit to Warsaw for consultations with Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Two sources familiar with the situation said Biden and his team were developing plans to impose sanctions on members of the Russian parliament, the Duma, in retaliation for Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The sanctions are expected to be announced on Thursday.
The Wall Street Journal meanwhile, said that 300 members of the Duma could face sanctions. A White House spokesperson said, “no final decisions have been made about who we will sanction and how many we will sanction.”
“We will have additional sanctions measures to announce that will rolled out in conjunction with our allies on Thursday when the president has the opportunity to speak with them,” a top US official said.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan earlier claimed that Biden on Thursday will attend an emergency NATO summit, meet with G7 leaders and address the 27 leaders of the European Union at a session of the European Council. Biden will coordinate on the next phase of military assistance to Ukraine, said Sullivan.
Earlier Biden vowed not to engage in direct conflict with Russia but has pledged the United States will defend all NATO territory. He has ordered more US troops to NATO's eastern flank to reassure those edgy allies.