Press "Enter" to skip to content

Biden vows united front with Ukraine in face of Russian war

President Biden on Wednesday capped a three-day visit to Lithuania for the NATO summit by vowing that the U.S. and its allies would maintain a united front with Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.

“We stand at an inflection point, an inflection point in history where the choices we make now are going to shape the direction of our world for decades to come. The world has changed. Will we turn back naked, unchecked aggression today to deter other world-would-be -aggressors tomorrow?” he said in remarks in Vilnius.

Biden spoke to a crowd of around 10,000 Lithuanians, foreign diplomats, members of the Belarusian opposition and others, all surrounded by and waving American and Lithuanian flags.

“We will not waver. I mean that,” Biden said. “Our commitment to Ukraine will not weaken. We will stand for liberty and freedom today, tomorrow, and for as long as it takes. We all want this war to end on just terms.”

“Our unity will not falter, I promise you,” he added.

The location of the president’s speech Wednesday was symbolic, as Lithuania shares a border with Russia. Lithuania’s membership in NATO is seen as a critical deterrent to potential Russian aggression.

“Every day, we have to make the choice. Every day, we must summon the strength to stand for what is right, to stand for what is true, to stand for freedom, to stand together,” Biden said.

Biden’s address came at the conclusion of a NATO summit that was dominated by talk of continued support for Ukraine in its war against Russia but also exposed tensions over what path Ukraine might have to join the alliance.

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday expressed frustration about the skepticism from Biden and some other world leaders about Ukraine joining NATO, a move Biden has said should wait until after the war with Russia has ended. By Wednesday, Zelensky acknowledged that Ukraine would not be able to join the alliance while the war was ongoing.

While Biden didn’t mention Ukraine’s potential membership into NATO during his remarks, he highlighted that NATO members have an obligation to defend one another; Biden and other allies have warned that taking Ukraine into NATO at this time would mean all allies are at war with Russia.

“It is a sacred oath: An attack against one is an attack against all,” Biden said. 

Biden noted that his meeting with Zelensky on Wednesday follows other one-on-one meetings they’ve held in Washington, Kyiv, and Hiroshima in the 16 months since Russia’s invasion. He also blamed Russia for not seeking an end to the conflict.

“One country cannot be allowed to seize its neighbor’s territory by force. Russia could end this war tomorrow,” he said. “Unfortunately, Russia has shown thus far no interest in a diplomatic outcome.”

The U.S. and its Group of Seven allies Wednesday announced plans for security negotations with Ukraine to ensure it had the military support it needed in the short-term and in the future to defer further Russian aggression. 

The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in military and financial aid to Ukraine since Russia first invaded in February 2022. Biden last week announced the U.S. would send Ukraine cluster munitions, a controversial weapon outlawed by dozens of countries.

Biden opened his remarks acknowledging that NATO welcomed Finland and reached agreement with Sweden to join the alliance.

“President Erdoğan kept his word,” he said, referring to the president of Turkey who Monday agreed to not block Sweden’s membership into NATO.

And, he praised the people of Ukraine for this strength in the nearly year-and-a-half since the Russian invasion, saying they “remain unbroken.” 

“Ukraine remains independent. It remains free,” he said.

Biden also praised citizens of Lithuania and other Baltic nations for supporting Ukraine, saying the older citizens there know “better than anyone how precious the fight to determine your future is.”

“My message to all of you is keep it up, keep it going, keep reminding the world of hope that Lithuania embodies,” he said.

Source: The Hill

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *