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Putin trying “to break up NATO’, Biden says at EU summit in Brussels

United States President Joe Biden arrived on Thursday night (March 24) at the European Council in Brussels to attend a summit of EU leaders that will have the war in Ukraine as the centrepoint.

Biden said upon arrival that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying “to break up NATO,” adding that he calls for unity among the “major democracies of the world.”

European Union leaders are set to agree at a two-day summit starting on Thursday to jointly buy gas as they seek to cut reliance on Russian fuels, with some saying they would not comply with Moscow’s demand to buy oil and gas using roubles.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Europe’s top gas supplier, pushed already-high energy prices to records and has prompted the EU to pledge to slash reliance on Russian fossil fuels by hiking imports from other countries and quickly expanding renewable energy.

Moscow on Wednesday (March 23) said “unfriendly” countries, including EU member states, must start paying in roubles for Russian oil and gas, a demand some EU leaders said was at odds with supply contracts.

Asked whether China will be discussed at the summit, Biden said: “We hope we’re going to get a chance to discuss China.”

(Production: Ardee Napolitano)

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