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Biden Pledges Strategic Air Defence Support to Ukraine Amid Escalating Conflict

Washington DC, July 11, 2024, The Europe Today: US President Joe Biden has committed to providing Ukraine with five new strategic air defence systems in response to ongoing Russian attacks. In a forceful speech welcoming NATO leaders to Washington DC, Biden declared the military alliance “more powerful than ever” as it faces a “pivotal moment” in the war between Russia and Ukraine.

In his opening remarks at the summit, President Biden announced that the US, in partnership with Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Romania, will donate Patriot missile batteries and other systems to aid Ukraine. This decision comes amid growing civilian casualties in the conflict, highlighted by a recent Russian missile attack that levelled a children’s hospital in Kyiv, resulting in 43 fatalities and over a hundred injuries.

“Russia will not prevail. Ukraine will prevail,” Biden asserted, emphasizing the alliance’s commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty. President Volodymyr Zelensky has been urging Western allies for increased air defence supplies, and NATO has planned to provide five strategic air defence systems and dozens of smaller anti-air batteries over the coming year.

The president’s 13-minute speech aimed to reassure both international allies and domestic constituents of his capability to lead, especially in the face of an impending election challenge from Donald Trump. Biden warned against autocrats overturning the global order, underscoring the importance of NATO’s unity and strength.

Despite Biden’s efforts to project vigor and leadership, there is skepticism about his political future. Congressional Democrats have privately debated his leadership, and some, like Representative Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, have publicly urged him not to seek re-election. Visiting diplomats have also expressed doubts about Biden’s ability to lead for another term.

The White House credits Biden’s leadership for NATO’s expansion since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, noting the inclusion of Finland and Sweden into the alliance. Defence experts, such as Shashank Joshi from The Economist, have highlighted the effectiveness of Patriot missile batteries but stressed the need for a diverse array of defence systems for Ukraine.

President Biden’s announcement underscores the US’s commitment to supporting Ukraine and maintaining global stability through strong international alliances.