United States President Joe Biden has said the US will soon announce a new $800m military aid package to Ukraine, bringing the total since he took office to nearly $7bn.
Biden said the aid, which will be announced in the coming days, will include an advanced air defence system and artillery support as Ukraine continues to face a Russian offensive in the eastern Donbas region.
“The United States is rallying the world to stand with Ukraine,” he said, adding the support would continue “as long as it takes”.
Biden spoke on the final day of a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, in which the 30-country bloc agreed to a new strategic framework that focuses on the “direct threat” from Russia and for the first time acknowledged the “challenges” posed by what leaders described as China’s “coercive policies”.
The US President also pushed back on the suggestion that, in light of an array of domestic issues, including gun violence, inflation woes, and the rollback of abortion rights, some US allies think Biden has failed to live up to its pledge to reassert Washington’s leadership on the international stage.
“America is better positioned to lead the world than we ever have been,” he said.
“I have not seen anyone come up to me … nor have you heard them say anything other than ‘Thank you for America’s leadership …You’ve changed the dynamic of NATO and the G7 [Group of Seven blocs of nations],’” Biden said.
He spoke after announcing earlier in the week that the US would boost its military presence in Europe to bolster NATO. Washington is set to create an army base in Poland, send 5,000 additional troops to Romania, deploy two F-45 squadrons, and increase the number of US navy destroyers in Spain.
Biden hailed the NATO summit as having “rallied our alliances to meet both the direct threats Russia poses [to] Europe and the systemic challenges that China poses to a rules-based world order”.
Meanwhile, he praised the official invitation for Sweden and Finland to join NATO, which will increase the bloc’s border with Russia by 1,287km (800 miles) via Finland.