US Bipartisan Senate Group Asks Biden to Increase Military Presence in Ukraine Ahead of NATO Summit

© AFP 2023 / ANNA MONEYMAKERU.S. President Joe Biden gives remarks a the DNC Winter Meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel on March 10, 2022 in Washington, DC
U.S. President Joe Biden gives remarks a the DNC Winter Meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel on March 10, 2022 in Washington, DC - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.03.2022
At an emergency NATO summit, planned for next week, leaders of the member states are expected to discuss further actions against Russia and the alliance's defence capability. The meeting is taking place amid the ongoing special military operation in Ukraine, started by Russia on 24 February.
On Friday, a group of 11 members of the bipartisan Senate NATO Observer Group (SNOG) submitted five main demands to President Joe Biden ahead of an upcoming summit in Brussels, according a letter obtained by NatSec Daily.
At the top of the list, the members of Congress asked Biden to convey support for the nation's NATO allies and "express particular appreciation to countries who have made recent declarations to expedite or increase their two percent defence spending commitment, as agreed to by all member countries at the Wales Summit".
On 10 March, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington, called on the West to increase defence spending within NATO to at least 2 percent of GDP. The request has been heard in some countries, including Slovenia, who pledged to increase defence spending within NATO to 1.5 percent by 2023, and to bring it up to two percent by 2030.
Germany, who has long resisted pressure from the US and its NATO allies to increase military spending, announced a sharp increase from 1.5 to 2 percent on 27 February.
A Ukrainian Su-27 Flanker and MiG-29 Fulcrum escort two B1B Lancers during a training mission for Bomber Task Force Europe, May 29, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.03.2022
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Second, the letter demands that NATO members consider additional support measures for Ukraine and a request from President Volodymyr Zelensky "for military equipment", which could be understood as a call for a no-fly zone – something that he has been demanding since the start of Moscow's special military operation.
The White House said such a no-fly zone over Ukraine would trigger the WWIII, stressing that the US would not undertake this action.
Third, the senators requested that "NATO bolster its presence on the eastern flank to provide reassurance to all NATO members of the alliance's continued commitment to defending 'every inch' of NATO territory".
The lawmakers noted that they appreciate Biden's decision to send more troops and military equipment to Poland, Romania, and the Baltic countries, but claimed that "more can and should be done to bolster deterrence measures on the southeastern flank, where Russia's actions imperil key allies and partners".

"We call for NATO to agree to establishing an Enhanced Forward Presence in Romania, a longstanding and committed NATO ally. Further, we request that the administration and NATO consider a more strategic and comprehensive approach toward the Black Sea region, which Russia is freely using to attack Ukraine and kill countless innocent civilians", the letter says.

Fourth, the group also pointed out the necessity for the alliance to "focus on the Balkans", which were called Europe's "vulnerable area".
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Fifth, the senators urged the president to make "an additional stop to an Eastern European NATO country to convey strong US support to the region", suggesting, in particular, Romania.
The emergency NATO summit is due to be held on 24 March. According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the main task of the meeting is to ensure unity in providing assistance to Ukraine and responding to Russia's special operation in Ukraine. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said that at the summit he would insist on building up NATO forces in his country.
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