Russia threatens the West with a severe response if its assets are confiscated

Ukraine will stop Vladimir Putin, Joe Biden tells NATO in forceful speech

US President Joe Biden vowed to firmly defend Ukraine from Russian invasion at a NATO summit in Washington on Tuesday, using the world stage to try to demonstrate to his domestic and international allies that he can still lead.

Biden, 81, has endured 12 days of withering questions about his suitability for office, as some of his fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill and campaign donors fear he will lose the Nov. 5 election following his disastrous performance in a June 27 debate.

“(Vladimir) Putin wants nothing less, nothing less, than the total subjugation of Ukraine… and to wipe Ukraine off the map,” Biden said, welcoming NATO member states to the summit, referring to the Russian president. “Ukraine can and will stop Putin.”

The White House hopes he can turn the page on a difficult period in his presidency with his most high-profile policy speech since the debate, although some diplomats present at the summit said the damage was difficult to erase.

On Tuesday, Biden spoke from a teleprompter with a strong and confident voice. and largely avoided the verbal slips and signs of confusion that marked his performance in the debate.

Biden was framed by the golden walls of the federal hall where the treaty creating NATO was signed, and his speech was capped by stirring musical performances by the United States Marine Corps Band.

“NATO is stronger today than ever before in its history,” he said.

The US president has made restoring America’s traditional alliances abroad a centrepiece of his foreign policy after Trump challenged allies as part of an “America First” approach. The winner in November could have a substantial impact on the future of NATO, Europe and the rest of the world.

“We don’t see how he can come back after the debate,” said one European diplomat, who dismissed Tuesday’s speech as evidence of Biden’s resilience because it was scripted. “I can’t imagine him leading the United States and NATO for another four years.”

Biden closed his speech by surprising NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, placing America’s highest civilian award around the Norwegian politician’s neck and crediting him with revitalizing the 32-member alliance.

Ukraine fights for more

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Washington on Tuesday and said he would “fight” to get NATO to strengthen Ukraine’s air defenses and equip it with more F-16 fighter jets. requests that Washington seems willing to grant.

“We are fighting for additional security guarantees for Ukraine, and these are weapons, funding and political support,” he said in a video posted on social media.

The United States and its allies will deliver five more air defense systems to Ukraine, including Patriot missile batteries and Patriot components, the leaders of those countries said in a joint statement during the NATO summit.

They added that they intend to supply Ukraine with dozens of tactical air defense systems in the coming months.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, He told defense industry leaders in Washington that heads of state would commit to allowing arms manufacturers in Europe and North America to produce more.

He also said NATO has placed an order for Stinger anti-aircraft missiles worth nearly $700 million on behalf of several member states.

“There are no cost-free options with an aggressive Russian neighbor. There are no risk-free options in a war,” he said. “The biggest cost and the biggest risk will be if Russia wins in Ukraine,” he added. “We cannot allow that to happen.”

Zelensky will meet Biden at the White House on Thursday and is scheduled to deliver a speech on Tuesday evening. After rejecting calls from some fellow Democrats for Biden to step down, the White House hopes to refocus attention on his ability to govern normally.

Biden’s staying power?

NATO, celebrating its 75th anniversary, has found a new purpose in opposing Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and war will dominate private talks between the countries’ leaders.

Those leaders, already anxious about the possibility of Trump’s return, came to Washington with new concerns about Biden’s staying power, according to diplomats from their countries. One of them described Biden as bruised after a difficult political period and said his administration was looking for signs of whether he would survive politically.

Biden will hold a solo news conference on Thursday, also aimed at calming concerns. As the US president sought to rally allies and domestic support, several senior European officials met with a top foreign policy adviser to Trump during the summit.

NATO leaders face political uncertainty in Europe, with paralysis looming in France following victories by left-wing and far-right parties, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition weakened following a poor showing in the European Parliament elections.