NATO allies offer security assurances to Ukraine as Biden attacks Putin’s ‘greed’

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during an event with G7 leaders to announce a joint declaration of support for Ukraine as a NATO summit is held in Vilnius, Lithuania, July 12, 2023.  - Reuters
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during an event with G7 leaders to announce a joint declaration of support to Ukraine, as a NATO summit is held in Vilnius, Lithuania, July 12, 2023. – Reuters
  • Biden accused Putin of having a “lust for land and power”.
  • NATO declined to provide an invitation or timetable for Ukraine’s entry.
  • President Biden says, “Our support will last long into the future.”

Vilnius: President Joe Biden on Wednesday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of “lusting for land and power” at the end of a NATO summit where Ukraine sought new security assurances from the US and its allies to defend itself against Moscow. Live

Members of the world’s most powerful military bloc offered the possibility of long-term security, a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described as “absurd” his refusal to offer an invitation or timetable for Ukraine’s entry into NATO.

Ukraine is increasingly pushing for membership as it battles the Russian invasion that began in February 2022, killing thousands and displacing millions.

Instead, a declaration by the G7 grouping of the world’s most industrialized nations launched a framework for bilateral talks promising military and financial aid, intelligence sharing and immediate action if Russia strikes again. .

“Our support will last long into the future. It’s a powerful statement of our commitment to Ukraine,” said Biden, accompanied by Zelensky and G7 leaders from the US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. is made. ,

Speaking in Vilnius, Lithuania, at the end of a two-day meeting on Russia’s doorstep, Biden said Putin had badly underestimated the resolve of the US-led military alliance.

Biden said, “NATO is stronger, more energized and yes, more united than ever before in its history. In fact, it is more important to our shared future. It didn’t happen by accident. It wasn’t inevitable.”

“When Putin and his lust for land and power launched a brutal war on Ukraine, he was betting that NATO would break up…but he miscalculated.”

Swallowing his frustration over the lack of a membership timetable, Zelensky commended NATO’s “pragmatic and unprecedented support for Ukraine” and said that at the summit, Ukraine had “received clear clarity that Ukraine will be in NATO”.

He tweeted, “I believe we will be in NATO once the security situation is stabilized. Simply put, when the war is over, Ukraine will be invited to NATO and Ukraine will obviously be a member of the alliance.” Will be done. I can’t think of any other.” sort.”

In a meeting with Zelensky, Biden promised him that the US was doing everything possible to meet Ukraine’s needs and acknowledged Zelensky’s frustration about the scale and pace of the support.

“Your resilience and your resolve are a role model for the whole world,” Biden said. “I look forward to the day when we have a meeting celebrating your official, official membership in NATO.”

“The bad news for you is we’re not going anywhere. You’re stuck with us,” Biden joked, causing Zelensky to laugh.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had said that Biden would discuss the issue of long-range missiles during his meeting with Zelensky.

Speaking to reporters afterward, Biden said: “One thing Zelensky understands now is that whether he is in NATO now or not is not relevant” as long as he has the commitments made at the summit. . “He doesn’t care about it anymore.”

Zelensky told Biden that he wanted to thank “all Americans” for the billions of dollars in aid their country has received.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said he had told Ukraine that its international allies are “not Amazons” and that Kiev needed to express gratitude for the arms donation in order to persuade Western politicians to give more.

Zelensky said: “We are always grateful to the UK, the Prime Ministers and the Defense Minister because people have always been supporting us.”

Britain, France, Germany and the US have been negotiating with Kiev for several weeks a broad international framework of support, including modern advanced military equipment such as fighter jets, training, intelligence-sharing and cyber defence.

In return, Ukraine would promise better governance, including judicial and economic reforms and increased transparency.

The first meeting of the new NATO-Ukraine Council was also held on Wednesday, a framework designed to strengthen cooperation between Kiev and the 31-nation alliance.

‘Potentially very dangerous’

NATO is built around mutual security guarantees, under which an attack on one is an attack on all, and it has carefully avoided making any firm military commitments to Ukraine, worried that this could lead to full-scale war with Russia. Will take the risk of getting close to.

Ukraine has been wary of any less-binding security “assurances”, as Russia’s invasion has already trampled the so-called Budapest Memorandum, under which international powers would arm the country in return for Kiev’s giving up Soviet-era nuclear weapons. Committed to keeping safe.

Speaking earlier with Zelensky, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine is closer to the alliance than ever before, and ignored new warnings from Russia about the consequences of supporting Ukraine.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the security arrangement for Ukraine was not designed as a substitute for full NATO membership and said the commitments at the summit marked a high point for the West’s support for Kiev.

Russia, which says NATO’s eastward expansion is a potential threat to its own security, swiftly hit back.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was “potentially very dangerous” for the West to offer security guarantees to Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the summit showed NATO was returning to “Cold War plans” and that it would respond “in a timely and appropriate manner, using all the means and methods at our disposal.”

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