Biden says NATO is ‘more united than ever’ as Russia, China slam summit


MADRID (NewsNation) — President Joe Biden called NATO “more united than ever” at a press conference Thursday as NATO faced rebukes from Moscow and Beijing after it declared Russia a threat and said China posed challenges to global stability.

Biden said NATO has transformed itself by adapting to a rapidly changing security situation around the globe amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.

“We are going to stick with Ukraine,” Biden said of the war, emphasizing his long-term support for Ukraine. “I don’t know how it’s going to end, but it will not end with a Russian defeat of Ukraine in Ukraine.”

The three-day summit included the Biden administration announcing plans to permanently bolster the U.S. military presence in Europe, an agreement between Turkey, Finland and Sweden to pave the way for the accession of Nordic nations into NATO and the alliance updating its strategic concept to reflect that China’s “coercive policies” are a challenge to the Western bloc’s interests.

“We are going to support Ukraine as long as it takes,” Biden said as he announced Washington will give $800 million of additional weapons aid to Ukraine in the coming days.

Biden also pointed the blame at Russia for driving up oil prices around the world.

Biden said “Russia, Russia, Russia” is the reason people are spending more at the pump. He’s talking with U.S. allies about setting a cap on the price of Russian oil, limiting how much money Moscow can make from its exports.

During the summit in Madrid, the Western military alliance described a world plunged into a dangerous phase of big-power competition and facing myriad threats, from cyberattacks to climate change.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said as the summit wrapped up Thursday that member nations agreed on a “fundamental shift in our deterrence and defense” and sent Moscow a clear message that the alliance had a firm line drawn on its eastern frontier.

“We live in a more dangerous world and we live in a more unpredictable world, and we live in a world where we have a hot war going on in Europe,” Stoltenberg said. “At the same time, we also know that this can get worse if this becomes a full-scale war between Russia and NATO.”

Stoltenberg continued: “We want to remove any room for miscalculation, misunderstanding in Moscow, about our readiness to protect every inch of NATO territory. That’s NATO’s core responsibility.”

Over their three days of talks in Spain, NATO leaders formally invited Finland and Sweden to join the alliance, after overcoming opposition from Turkey. If the Nordic nations’ accession is approved by the 30 member nations, it will give NATO a new 800-mile border with Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned he would respond in kind if the Nordic pair allowed NATO troops and military infrastructure onto their territory. He said Russia would have to “create the same threats for the territory from which threats against us are created.”

China accused the alliance of “maliciously attacking and smearing” the country. Its mission to the European Union said NATO “claims that other countries pose challenges, but it is NATO that is creating problems around the world.”

NATO said that China “strives to subvert the rules-based international order, including in the space, cyber and maritime domains” and warned of its close ties with Moscow.

The alliance said, however, that it remained “open to constructive engagement” with Beijing.

China shot back that NATO was a source of instability and vowed to defend its interests.

“Since NATO positions China as a ‘systemic challenge,’ we have to pay close attention and respond in a coordinated way. When it comes to acts that undermine China’s interests, we will make firm and strong responses,” its statement said.

However, talks of Russia dominated the summit. Stoltenberg said Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine had brought “the biggest overhaul of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who addressed the summit by video link, asked for more. He urged NATO to send modern artillery systems and other weapons and warned the leaders they either had to provide Kyiv with the help it needed or “face a delayed war between Russia and yourself.”

“The question is, who’s next? Moldova? Or the Baltics? Or Poland? The answer is: all of them,” he said.

At the summit, NATO leaders agreed to dramatically scale up military force along the alliance’s eastern flank, where countries from Romania to the Baltic states worry about Russia’s future plans.

They announced plans to increase almost eightfold the size of the alliance’s rapid reaction force, from 40,000 to 300,000 troops, by next year. The troops will be based in their home nations but dedicated to specific countries in the east, where the alliance plans to build up stocks of equipment and ammunition.

Biden said Putin had believed NATO members would splinter after he invaded Ukraine, but the Russian leader got the opposite response.

“You’re gonna get the NATO-ization of Europe,” Biden said during the summit. “And that’s exactly what he didn’t want, but exactly what needs to be done to guarantee security for Europe.”

This story is developing. Refresh for updates.

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