Biden Forcefully Tells NATO Ukraine Will Defeat Russia

President announces nations will send embattled ally air defense systems
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2024 7:30 PM CDT
Biden Forcefully Tells NATO Ukraine Will Defeat Russia
President Biden, front row center, poses during a family photo with allied heads of state and government before delivering opening remarks on the 75th anniversary of NATO at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on Tuesday in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

"Russia is failing," President Biden told NATO leaders on Tuesday. "The war will end with Ukraine remaining a free and independent country." The assessments came in an address kicking off a summit in Washington that marks the alliance's 75th anniversary. "Biden's words were strong and steady," the BBC reports, as he read from a teleprompter in Mellon Auditorium, where the North Atlantic Treaty was signed in 1949. Developments, including concrete commitments for Ukraine, involve:

  • Air defenses: The US and other NATO allies will provide dozens of the systems Ukraine has been seeking to stop Russian advances, which Biden called "a historic donation." The US, Germany, and Romania will each send a Patriot battery, per CNN, and the Netherlands will lead an effort with other nations to enable another Patriot battery. Italy will deliver a SAMP-T long-range air defense system.

  • The stakes: Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg put Ukraine's battle against Russia's invasion in a broader and historic context, warning that defeat would benefit democracy's opponents. "There are no cost-free options with an aggressive Russia as a neighbor; there are no risk-free options in a war," he told the gathering, per the Washington Post. "Remember the biggest cost and the greatest risk will be if Russia wins."
  • US politics: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, who's attending the meeting though Ukraine isn't a NATO member, said other nations shouldn't wait to see how the US elections turn out before committing their support. He said action is needed before November to defeat Russia, per the AP. Zelensky posted his thanks to Biden and other leaders for the promise of the air defense systems on X.
  • Membership: Officials had not yet agreed on communique wording about Ukraine joining NATO, per the Post. Some leaders want specificity about requiring Ukraine to combat internal corruption, and some hesitate to sign up a nation at war with a nuclear superpower.
(More NATO summit stories.)

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