President Joe Biden on Thursday vowed that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine “will not end with a Russian defeat of Ukraine in Ukraine.”
The president’s pledge came during a news conference at the conclusion of the NATO summit in Madrid — where Biden sought to rally Western allies to prolong their support for Ukraine, and where Finland and Sweden signed an agreement with Turkey that paved the way for the two Nordic nations to join the mutual-defense military bloc.
“Putin thought he could break the transatlantic alliance,” Biden told reporters. “He tried to weaken us. He expected our resolve to fracture. But he’s getting exactly what he did not want. He wanted the Finland-ization of NATO. He got the NATO-ization of Finland.”
“We are going to stick with Ukraine, and all of the alliance is going to stick with Ukraine as long as it takes to, in fact, make sure that they are not defeated,” Biden said.
Reiterating his commitment, Biden said American drivers would be forced to bear the costs of increased gasoline prices brought on by Russia’s invasion for “as long as it takes.” Russia, he added, “cannot, in fact, defeat Ukraine and move beyond Ukraine. This is a critical, critical position for the world.”
Despite Biden’s declaration about NATO’s resolve, there has been a growing public divergence among allies over how long the war will last, the lengths to which Western governments will go to help Ukraine win and what exactly a victory might look like.
Still, NATO leaders have remained forceful in their official condemnations of Putin’s invasion, adopting a new “Strategic Concept” on Wednesday that branded Russia as “the most significant and direct threat to Allies’ security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.”
That same day, Biden announced plans for the United States to send more naval destroyers, air defense systems and redeployed troops further into eastern Europe in the coming months.
U.S. officials also worked to assuage Turkey’s concerns about Finland and Sweden becoming NATO member states; Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had been angered by what he claimed was Helsinki and Stockholm’s support for Kurdish militants and arms embargoes on Ankara.
Erdoğan ultimately backed away from blocking Finland and Sweden’s membership bids on Tuesday, as the Biden administration expressed support for Turkey buying roughly $6 billion worth of F-16 fighter jets and modernization kits from Lockheed Martin. U.S. officials have denied any linkages between the potential arms sale and the NATO expansion.