Biden pledges support for Ukraine ‘as long as it takes’ despite economic toll


NATO leaders concluded a summit with new commitments for a united front against Russian aggression, but they face the challenge of persuading their own people that it is worth the effort.

President Joe Biden of the American right meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the NATO summit in Madrid on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Kenny Holston/The New York Times

MADRID — President Joe Biden pledged on Thursday that the United States and NATO would support Ukraine for as long as needed to repel the Russian invasion, despite waves of economic pain sweeping through global markets and voters’ homes, claiming that it was the Kremlin that had miscalculated in its aggression, not the West to oppose it.

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At a press conference at the close of a NATO summit in Madrid, Biden said Americans and the rest of the world should pay more for gasoline and energy as the price for containing aggression Russian. How long? “As long as it takes, Russia cannot actually defeat Ukraine and go beyond Ukraine,” he said.

His remarks underscored the kaleidoscope of problems he and other NATO leaders face in keeping their people committed to supporting Ukraine with money, weapons and sanctions against Russia, despite the damage that it causes Western economies and an uncertain outcome on the battlefield.

“You can already see in the media that the interest is decreasing, and that is also affecting the public, and the public is affecting politicians,” said Ann Linde, Sweden’s foreign minister.

NATO’s 30 member states capped an important summit in Madrid this week, taking the first step towards admitting Sweden and Finland, underlining their unity in favor of Ukraine and endorsing plans to increase considerably the forces of the alliance in the countries of its eastern flank, closest to Russia and its ally, Belarus. The decisions, prompted by the Russian invasion, should strengthen the alliance, especially in its ability to defend the Baltic countries, while considerably extending its border with Russia.

Biden said that before the war began, he warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that if he invaded Ukraine, “NATO would not only get stronger, but become more united, and we would see the democracies of the world to stand up and oppose his aggression. and uphold the rules-based order. This, he said, was “exactly what we see today”.

Ukrainian leaders continue to advocate for more weapons, delivered faster, to stave off Russia’s slow advance. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking to NATO leaders, said this week that Ukraine needs around $5 billion a month just to keep its government functioning.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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