Biden at the opening of NATO Summit: ‘’NATO is stronger than its ever been in its history.’’

At the NATO summit held in Washington, President Joe Biden unveiled a plan to significantly improve Ukraine’s air defense capabilities, marking a key moment in the alliance’s response to Russia’s ongoing aggression. Biden’s announcement detailed a “historic donation” that includes the deployment of four Patriot anti-missile batteries. The US, Germany and Romania will each provide one of these advanced systems, while the fourth will be assembled from parts supplied by the Netherlands and other NATO members.

The United States will make sure that when we export critical air defense interceptors, Ukraine goes to the front of the line. They will get this assistance before anyone else gets it.

During his address, President Biden underlined the importance of providing support and the determination of the US administration to strengthen Ukraine’s defensive posture against Russian military threats: “Putin wants nothing less – nothing less than Ukraine’s total subjugation…But make no mistake Ukraine can and will stop Putin.’’

President Biden further emphasized the priority given to Ukraine in obtaining these systems, saying, “The United States will make sure that when we export critical air defense interceptors, Ukraine goes to the front of the line. They will get this assistance before anyone else gets it.” According to a joint statement by the contributing countries, the initiative will equip Ukraine with hundreds of additional interceptors over the next year, increasing its capacity to protect its cities and civilians from Russian missile attacks.

In addition, Italy has pledged to augment Ukraine’s air defense arsenal with another SAMP-T system. Biden noted that in addition to the long-range system, NATO allies will also deliver “dozens” of other tactical air defense systems to Ukraine in the coming months, demonstrating a comprehensive effort to significantly improve Ukraine’s defense capabilities.

In his speech, President Biden recognized outgoing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, thanking him for his leadership and presenting him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his significant contributions, particularly in navigating the complex challenges the alliance has faced in recent years.

The NATO summit not only served as a platform to highlight the alliance’s support for Ukraine, but also allowed President Biden to demonstrate his leadership skills amid ongoing debates about his age and political future. Against the backdrop of the Mellon Auditorium, where the North Atlantic Treaty was signed, Biden reminded the audience of NATO’s historic resilience and its critical role today, stating, “Today, NATO is stronger than its ever been in its history.”

This assembly and the commitments made underscore the strategic continuity of US and NATO policy, reinforcing the collective defense commitment that remains a cornerstone of the alliance’s purpose. As tensions continue and the geopolitical landscape evolves, the decisions made at this summit will play a key role in shaping the future dynamics of international security and stability.

Image source: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

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