Ahead of the trip, Biden on Monday will hold a call with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson “to discuss their coordinated responses to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine,” according to a statement from the White House.
Since the prospect of the NATO leaders summit was first broached roughly two weeks ago, American and European officials have been discussing potential announcements for leaders to make at the conclusion of the gathering, according to several people familiar with the plans.
But major items that Ukraine wants, like help from NATO in establishing a no-fly zone or providing Soviet-era fighter jets, appear for now off the table as the US and its partners seek to avoid direct confrontation with Russia. Earlier this month, the Pentagon said that it was bluntly opposed to a Polish plan to provide fighter jets to Ukraine over concerns of being drawn into an outright conflict with Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday he is ready to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but warned that if any negotiation attempts fail, it could lead to “a third World War.”
“If there’s just 1% chance for us to stop this war, I think that we need to take this chance. We need to do that. … We are losing people on a daily basis, innocent people on the ground.”