Updated Mar 24, 2022 - World

Biden says he supports expelling Russia from G20

Biden
Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Thursday that he would support Russia being expelled from the G20 over its invasion of Ukraine, a step that would further isolate Vladimir Putin on the international stage.

Driving the news: Biden said the decision would ultimately be up to the G20, but that he has proposed allowing Ukraine to attend as an observer nation if other members do not agree to remove Russia.

The big picture: Biden spoke after hours of meetings with the leaders of NATO and the G7, and ahead of the European Council summit where he's been invited as a guest.

  • Biden announced earlier in the day that the U.S. would provide $1 billion in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, and impose sanctions on over 600 Russian lawmakers, elites and defense companies.
  • The G7 and EU also agreed on a new initiative to tighten sanctions enforcement, as well as cooperation on supporting third countries harmed by sanctions and disruptions to food and energy security.
Other highlights

Chemical weapons: Biden said NATO "would respond" if Russia used chemical, biological or nuclear weapons inside Ukraine, and that "the nature of the response would depend on the nature of the use."

  • Pressed further on whether NATO would respond militarily, Biden said "we'd make that decision at the time."

China: Biden said he made clear in his phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week that he would be putting himself in "significant jeopardy" if Beijing supported Russia militarily or with sanctions evasion.

  • He added that he believes China "understands its economic future is much more closely tied to the West than it is to Russia."

Food shortages: Biden warned that there is a real risk of global food shortages given Russia and Ukraine's role as the "bread basket of Europe," and that the G7 and EU discussed ways to lift restrictions and other measures to alleviate those concerns.

Trump's return: Biden said it's "not an illogical question" for Europeans and other U.S. allies to ask whether Donald Trump could win back the White House in 2024, but quipped that he would feel "very fortunate" to have Trump as an opponent.

  • "One of the things that I take some solace from is I don't think you'll find any European leader who thinks that I am not up to the job," Biden said.
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