The US will accept 100,000 refugees fleeing violence in Ukraine, the Biden administration announced on Thursday.
According to the UN, over 3.5 million Ukrainian refugees have fled the war in their country, making it the largest movement of refugees in Europe since World War II.
Many of the refugees fleeing the country are women and children, as men aged 18 to 60 are not permitted to leave the country.
US to welcome 100,000 Ukrainian refugees
Although many Ukrainian refugees wish to stay in Europe, a substantial number have relatives in the US already and the move is aimed at reuniting these families, Biden noted during a news conference after a NATO Summit on Thursday.
both immigrant and non-immigrant visas will be issued, as some refugees who arrive in the US may not wish to live there permanently.
Priority will be given to LGBT refugees, journalists, dissidents, and people with medical conditions.
The US will also offer one billion dollars in humanitarian aid to help countries supporting the influx of Ukrainian refugees, such as Poland, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, and Slovakia.
Biden supports removing Russia from G20
During a news conference in Brussels on Thursday, President Biden stated that he support expelling Russia from the G20, an intergovernmental forum that includes the world’s largest economies, in retaliation for the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Members of the G20 regularly meet to address major issues in the world economy. In 2014, Russia was expelled from the G8, which includes the world’s eight largest economies, for invading Crimea.
Meanwhile, the US has imposed a series of new sanctions on Russia in response to the country’s attack on Ukraine.
Over 300 members of the Duma, Russia’s parliament, and 40 Russian defense companies were the targets of the sanctions, which are aimed at further damaging the country’s economy in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.
The US also banned the purchase of Russian gold in many circumstances, as Russia began selling off the precious metal to counteract the negative economic impact of the sanctions.
One of the Russian defense companies sanctioned by the US has been creating missiles and other weapons used in Ukraine, according to the US government. Another sanctioned firm has repurposed machinery created for surveillance into military equipment to be used in Ukraine, according to Washington.
NATO: Russia may use chemical weapons in Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated during a NATO Summit on Thursday that the alliance is concerned that Russia might use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine.
Stoltenberg also stated that NATO members agreed to assist Ukraine, which is not a member of NATO, with medical support, training, and detection equipment to help prepare the country in case Russia deploys chemical or biological weapons.
In a public statement after the conclusion of a NATO Summit in Brussels, Stoltenberg expressed the alliance’s fears that Russia may be preparing to use such weapons, which are banned under the Geneva Convention, because the country has claimed that western powers are planning to use them.
“We are concerned partly because we see the rhetoric and we see that Russia is trying to create some kind of pretext accusing Ukraine, the United States, and NATO allies for preparing to use chemical and biological weapons…and we have seen before that this way of accusing others is actually a way to create a pretext to do the same themselves,” he stated.
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