VILNIUS, Lithuania — President Joe Biden vowed the United States and its allies are united behind Ukraine in a speech Wednesday following two days of meetings at the NATO Summit.
The Story: Speaking to a large crowd at the courtyard at Vilnius University, the U.S. President touted the strength of the alliance and the importance of supporting Ukraine in its ongoing war with Russia.
- “We will not waver,” Biden said. “I mean that. Our commitment to Ukraine will not weaken. We will stand for liberty and freedom today and tomorrow and for as long as it takes.”
- “The defense of freedom is not the work of a day or a year,” he added. “It’s the calling of our lifetime; of all time.”
Going deeper: Biden’s remarks came after he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier in the day.
- The Ukrainian leader said he had a “good, powerful” discussion with Biden that ran twice as long as scheduled.
- “We have great unity from our leaders and security guarantees, that is a success for this summit, I think so, but it’s my opinion,” Zelenskyy said.
Why it matters: Ukraine’s status on joining NATO was a major point of the summit this week, with Biden saying it is vital for the success of Ukraine to have the country join at the war’s conclusion.
- Zelenskyy promised Wednesday that “Ukraine will make NATO stronger.”
- “We face a choice, a choice between a world defined by coercion and exploitation, where might makes right, or a world where we recognize that our own success is bound to the success of others — when others do better, we do better as well,” Biden said.