“NATO has never, never been more united than it is today,” said President Joe Biden following an alliance meeting in Brussels today.
Biden participated in an extraordinary summit meeting at the alliance headquarters, just one month after Russian President Vladimir Putin broke the peace of Europe by invading Ukraine.
The president noted that the day after the Russian invasion, NATO held a meeting. “At that time, my overwhelming objective in wanting that summit was to have absolute unity on three key important issues among our NATO and European allies,” he said. “First was to support Ukraine with military and humanitarian assistance.”
The second was to impose the most significant economic sanction regime to cripple Putin’s economy and punish him for his actions. “Third, was to fortify the eastern flank of our NATO allies who were obviously very, very concerned, and … worried what would happen,” he said.
All this happened and the meeting today was put in place to build on these efforts. “The United States has committed to provide over $2 billion in military equipment to Ukraine since I became president, anti-air systems, anti-armor systems, ammunition. And our weapons are flowing into Ukraine as I speak.”
In addition, Biden announced $1 billion in humanitarian relief for Ukrainians affected by the war. “Many Ukrainian refugees will well wish to stay in Europe closer to their homes, but we also will welcome 100,000 Ukrainians to the United States with a focus on reuniting families,” Biden said.
He also announced the United States will invest $320 million to bolster democratic resilience and defend human rights in Ukraine and neighboring countries.
The United States in tandem with the European Union, Canada and Japan will also look at the effect Putin’s war will have on food and energy security. The nations are also sanctioning more than 300 members of the Russian Duma, oligarchs and defense companies that fuel the Russian war machine, he said.
Finally, Biden said that Putin launched his invasion absolutely sure that NATO would split apart. Instead, the United States deployed more than 20,000 troops to Europe. Other allies stepped up and moved forces to the eastern border of the alliance.
“NATO established … four new battle groups in Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovakia to reinforce the Eastern Front,” he said. “Putin was banking on NATO being split. My early conversation with him in December and early January, it was clear to me he didn’t think we could sustain this cohesion. Putin is getting exactly the opposite [of] what he intended to have as a consequence of going into Ukraine.”