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NATO allies providing Ukraine with 'historic' air defense 'donation': Biden

President says Russia is 'failing' in its 'war of choice' against Ukraine, noting that over 350,000 troops have been killed or injured

10:40 - 10/07/2024 Çarşamba
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File photo
File photo

NATO allies are banding behind Ukraine to provide Kyiv with dozens of new air defense systems over the coming months to help stave off continued Russian aerial attacks, US President Joe Biden said Tuesday.

The "historic donation of air defense equipment for Ukraine" will include contributions from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and the US, Biden said during a ceremony commemorating NATO's 75th anniversary and kicking off the alliance's three-day summit in Washington, D.C.

"We know (Russian President Vladimir) Putin won't stop at Ukraine. But make no mistake -- Ukraine can and will stop Putin, especially with our full collective support. They have our full support," he said at the historic Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium during a lavish ceremony in the same room where NATO's founding document was signed.

Germany, Romania and the US will jointly provide Ukraine with additional Patriot batteries, while the Netherlands and "other partners" will send what a joint leader statement described as additional "Patriot components." Italy will send an additional SAMP-T system. A total of five systems will be contributed under the effort.

But the coming months will also see the US and its NATO allies send Ukraine "dozens of additional tactical air defense systems," Biden said.

Those include the NASAMS, HAWKs, IRIS T-SLM, IRIS T-SLS and Gepard systems.

The president also referenced an earlier announcement that the US will pause exports of hundreds of air defense interceptor munitions to other allies and partners and will redirect them to Kyiv instead as it continues to face barrages of Russian drone and ballistic missile attacks.

Biden maintained that Russia is "failing" in what he called its "war of choice" against Ukraine, saying that in the over two years that it has been waging the conflict, it has been met with "staggering" losses, including over 350,000 dead and injured troops. Nearly 1 million other Russians have fled the country "because they no longer see a future in Russia," he added.

Speaking before Biden, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said a Russian victory in Ukraine would risk emboldening Russia's chief international allies, posing major challenges to global security.

"The biggest cost and the greatest risk will be if Russia wins in Ukraine. We cannot let that happen," he said.

"Not only would it embolden President Putin, it will also embolden other authoritarian leaders in Iran, in North Korea and China. They all support Russia's brutal war. They all want NATO to fail. So the outcome of this war will shape global security for decades to come. The time to stand for freedom and democracy is now. The place is Ukraine," he added.

#Jens Stoltenberg
#Joe Biden
#NATO
#Russia
#Ukraine
#US
#Vladimir Putin
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