MADRID—President Joe Biden said on Thursday the United States will provide another $800 million in weapons and military aid to Ukraine, hailing the courage of Ukrainians since Russia invaded in February.
Speaking after a NATO summit that saw the alliance also agree to take in Finland and Sweden, Biden said the United States and its NATO allies were united in standing up to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I don’t know how it’s going to end, but it will not end with Russia defeating Ukraine,” Biden told a news conference. “Ukraine has already dealt a severe blow to Russia.”
Biden, who appeared to be readying allies for a long conflict in Ukraine despite talk in March of a possible victory, added: “We are going to support Ukraine for as long as it takes.” He declined to give more details.
The pending formal announcement of more weapons would come on top of the more than $6.1 billion already announced by the United States since Russia forces rolled into Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Biden had earlier pledged more American troops, warplanes, and warships for Europe as NATO agreed to strengthen its deterrents, putting more than 300,000 troops on high alert from the middle of next year.
“The U.S. is doing exactly what I said we would do if Russia invaded, enhance our force posture in Europe,” Biden said. “The United States is rallying the world to stand with Ukraine.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said London would provide another 1 billion pounds ($1.22 billion) in military aid to Ukraine, while his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron said France would soon deliver six more CAESAR guns.
Britain’s contribution includes air defense systems and new electronic warfare equipment, taking support to more than 2.3 billion pounds since Moscow’s invasion, a financial sum the British government said was second only to U.S. aid.
Putin did not appear ready to withdraw or negotiate the terms of a peace deal, Johnson said.
“There doesn’t seem to be anything to talk about. Because it’s not only that the Ukrainian people would find it very difficult to do a deal, Putin isn’t even offering a deal,” Johnson told a news conference.
In the biggest shift in European security in decades, Finland and Sweden will sign the formal accession protocol next Tuesday to join NATO, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, although ratification by its 30 members’ parliaments could take a year.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan however told a news conference at the close of the summit that the Nordic nations must first keep the promises in a deal for Turkey to lift its veto on their NATO membership bids.
Erdogan said Sweden had promised to extradite 73 individuals that he described as terrorists.
“First Sweden and Finland should carry out their duties and those are in the text … But if they don’t, of course it is out of the question for the ratification to be sent to our parliament,” Erdogan said.
Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would respond in kind if NATO deployed troops or infrastructure in Finland or Sweden.
($1 = 0.8228 pounds)
By Andrea Shalal, Aislinn Laing, and Robin Emmott