At back-to-back summits in Brussels, US President Biden will push to reinforce the unity of the West amid Russia's operation in Ukraine.

After a month of fighting, Russian forces have laid waste to swaths of the country but have made few significant military gains, while Ukraine continues to resist.
After a month of fighting, Russian forces have laid waste to swaths of the country but have made few significant military gains, while Ukraine continues to resist. (Reuters)

US President Joe Biden has left for Europe on a mission to bolster Western unity, and ramp up unprecedented sanctions against Russia for attacking Ukraine and attempting to upset the post-Cold War balance of power.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters on Wednesday that Biden will seek to "reinforce the incredible unity we built with allies and partners."

Sullivan also said that economic sanctions, imposed by a global network of Western allies to cripple Russia's finances, will be deepened.

A further package will be "rolled out in conjunction with our allies on Thursday," Sullivan said. The package "will focus not just on adding new sanctions but on ensuring that there is joint effort to crack down on evasion on sanctions," he added.

The conflict with Russian President Vladimir Putin is redefining Biden's 14-month old presidency as he pivots from domestic woes to leading the transatlantic alliance in the most serious crisis in Europe for decades.

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Intense diplomacy

After four years of Donald Trump, who treated European nations as economic competitors and scorned the traditional US role as senior partner in NATO, Biden has put the accent on unity. 

On Thursday, Biden will attend summits with NATO, the G7 group and the European Council. He flies Friday to Poland, which neighbours Ukraine and is now the frontline in what some call a new Cold War, and on Saturday he meets President Andrzej Duda.

The intense diplomacy marks a crucial moment in the dangerous standoff with Putin, who seeks to force Ukraine from its pro-Western path.

If the conflict does drag on, Russia's ability to weather military losses and the crushing Western economic sanctions may partly depend on the position taken by its authoritarian partner China.

Sullivan said Biden will also consult on the "question of China's potential participation in the conflict of Ukraine while he's in Brussels. He'll do so at NATO."

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies