We will deepen our work together to undermine Russia’s ability to wage its war, the leaders of the United States and the European Union said on Friday in a joint statement after a meeting at the White House. It emphasized that joint actions would be taken “against entities from third countries that support Russia’s war against Ukraine.” Joe Biden, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel also called on China to put pressure on Moscow to stop its aggression.
President of the USA Joe BidenPresident of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and President of the European Council Charles Michel issued a joint statement after the second EU-US summit at the White House.
“We will deepen our joint work to undermine Russia’s ability to wage its war… Those who help Russia obtain parts and equipment for its weapons industry support actions that undermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence,” they wrote. “We will act against third-country actors who materially support Russia’s war,” they added.
EU and US representatives also declared long-term economic and military support for Ukraine, as well as their determination to hold Russia accountable for its aggression, including the payment of reparations. They also announced that they would investigate how much of Russia’s frozen funds could be legally allocated to support and rebuild Ukraine.
Israel’s right to self-defense
In the section on the Middle East, US and EU leaders supported Israel’s right to self-defense against attacks by Hamas terrorists, but also expressed concern about the “deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza” and emphasized the importance of avoiding the escalation of the conflict to the entire region. Regarding policy towards China, EU and US leaders agreed that they will not pursue the so-called “decoupling”, i.e. disconnecting from Chinese economy, but to “de-risk” and reduce economic dependence on China, as well as protect some sensitive technologies. They said they would continue to pay attention to the issue human rights in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong. They also appealed to Beijing to put pressure on Russia to halt its aggression, withdraw troops from Ukraine, and enter into talks with Kiev for a just peace.
Both sides also said they had made progress in negotiating the details of an agreement on critical minerals that would allow European companies to access tax breaks for electric cars stipulated in the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Even before Friday’s summit, EU officials expressed hope that an agreement on this matter could be finalized, but ultimately it was recognized that it “still requires work.” Difficult talks on a trade agreement regarding the import of steel and aluminum are still ongoing.
Friday’s meeting in Washington was the second EU-US summit after this format was inaugurated in Brussels in June 2021. In addition to Michel and von der Leyen, the talks at the White House were attended by EC Vice-Presidents Valdis Dombrovskis and Vera Jourova and EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell . Von der Leyen and Michel arrived at and left the White House separately. They both also had separate meetings with President Biden: Biden received the head of the European Council in the Oval Office, and went for a walk in the Rose Garden with the head of the European Commission.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/Al Drago / POOL