If one of Vladimir Putin’s goals for his war of choice in Ukraine was to divide NATO and the Western Allies, he has been profoundly disappointed, as President Joe Biden’s recent trip to Europe shows.
“NATO has never, never been more united that it is today,” said President Biden after the Alliance met in Brussels to address Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified aggression. In a joint statement after the meeting, the NATO Heads of State and Government reiterated their condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which, they said, threatens global security and international order. The leaders called on the Kremlin to immediately implement a ceasefire and engage in serious negotiations with Ukraine. They emphasized their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The leaders of the Alliance pledged to maintain coordinated international pressure on Russia and declared their ironclad commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. They noted the placement of 40,000 troops on NATO’s eastern flank, as well as four additional multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia to reinforce the eastern front. “We are taking all measures and decisions to ensure the security and defense of all Allies across all domains,” they wrote.
“Putin is getting exactly the opposite of what he intended to have as a consequence of going into Ukraine,” said President Biden.
The same unity and cohesion were apparent when President Biden met with leaders of the G7 nations and the European Council. The G7 agreed to fully implement the severe sanctions they have imposed on Russia. In a joint statement, they pledged “to apply additional measures as required, continuing to act in unity as we do so.” They also agreed to step up humanitarian aid to Ukraine and neighboring countries.
After speaking to EU leaders, President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyden announced a new initiative to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian fossil fuels and maximize the availability and use of renewable energy.
In Warsaw, President Biden summed up the consequences Putin never intended when he invaded Ukraine: “The democracies of the world are revitalized with purpose and unity found in months that we’d once taken years to accomplish … We must commit now to be in this fight for the long haul. We must remain unified today and tomorrow and the day after and for the years and decades to come.”