President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and other world leaders will meet in The Hague, Netherlands, on Monday for the third Nuclear Security Summit, announced the White House. The talks will kick off less than two days after Russian forces stormed a Ukrainian airbase in Crimea with armored vehicles, automatic gunfire, and stun guns. One service member was injured in the attack and the base commander was taken hostage, reported The Guardian. The Belbek base “was one of the last military facilities in Crimea still under Ukrainian control” after Russia’s annexation of the region on Friday, reported the newspaper. Russian forces had previously “seized Belbek’s airstrip and warplanes,” but they gained control of “barracks, arms depots, and a command building” on Saturday, reported Reuters. Obama is scheduled to meet with leaders of the G7 on Monday evening to discuss the situation in Ukraine, announced the White House. (See also US Planning More Forces in the Baltic and Rasmussen: Russian Actions are a “Wake Up Call.”)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.