US President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, the deployment of anti-aircraft defense systems to Ukraine, on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Washington.

>>>Death toll from Ukraine bombings rises to 37: Russia ‘strikes mercilessly’

The war will end and Ukraine will remain a free and independent country. Russia will not win.“Biden, 81, said in a speech in which he tried to dispel doubts in the Democratic Party about his candidacy for re-election in the November elections, after a catastrophic debate against his Republican rival Donald Trump.

“This is a crucial moment for Europe, for the transatlantic community and, I might add, for the world,” he said.

He participated with the leaders, or their representatives, of the 32 NATO countries in a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Atlantic Alliance.

In a joint statement, several NATO countries, including the United States, They confirmed the delivery of a total of five of these systems, including four Patriot batteries and surface-to-air missiles particularly effective in intercepting Russian ballistic missiles..

The fifth air defence system announced on Tuesday is a battery of Samp-T missiles, of Franco-Italian manufacture, which Italy had already promised.

The new thing is the Patriot battery, which the United States will supply. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been asking for it for months.

Zelensky, who arrived in Washington on Tuesday, thanked allies for their “strong statement” of support.

In a speech in the afternoon, he also asked them, and in particular the United States, not to wait for the result of the presidential elections in November to affirm their support for his country at war.

“It’s time to come out of the shadows, to make strong decisions, to work, to act and not wait for November or any other month,” he said.

Bombings in Ukraine

Ukraine was targeted on Monday by Russian strikes that left 43 people dead and around 200 injured, Zelensky announced, as well as devastating the country’s largest children’s hospital.

As the conflict continues, the allies have also pledged to provide additional Patriot systems or equivalent “this year” and “dozens” of tactical air defense systems “in the coming months.”

“Today is Washington,” Zelensky said earlier in his video address.

“We are fighting for more anti-aircraft defense” and “more F-16 planes”which is expected to be delivered to Ukraine soon, he added.

Washington will also reschedule the already planned delivery of missile batteries so that kyiv can have “hundreds of additional surface-to-air interceptors over the next year,” according to a joint statement by the United States, the Netherlands, Romania, Germany, Italy and Ukraine.

Moment of respite

Russian attacks have left dozens dead and have already destroyed half of Ukraine’s energy capacity.

As host of the anniversary ceremony in the auditorium where the North Atlantic Treaty was signed in 1949, Biden was able to enjoy a moment of respite in an election campaign that is turning into an ordeal for him.

There are growing calls, even within his own Democratic camp, for the president to let another candidate contest the election against Trump after his dismal performance in the debate, in which he appeared confused and even rambled.

The 78-year-old Republican billionaire commented on the anniversary ceremony on his social network Truth Social. He said that without him “NATO would probably no longer exist.”

He says this because the Europeans have committed to spending more on their defence, which he says is due to the pressure he exerted during his term in office.

He NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recalled in his speech that the Alliance is not a “duty” but the “result of deliberate choices and difficult decisions”.

The same applies to support for Ukraine, which involves “costs and risks,” he recalled.

“Defending freedom”

“The biggest cost and the biggest risk would be for Russia to win in Ukraine,” he said.

The outcome of this war will determine global security for decades to come.“Stoltenberg said. “The time to stand up for freedom and democracy is now. The place is Ukraine.”

kyiv would like to advance its application for membership of the Atlantic Alliance on the occasion of this summit, but it is under no illusions.

Ukraine wants a formal invitation, but several countries, including the United States, are opposed to it.

What it could achieve is that the promise of accession becomes “irreversible” but under conditions, according to a diplomat who asked to remain anonymous.

Russia, for its part, said it would follow the summit with “maximum attention.”

>>>Video of the exact moment when a Russian missile hit a hospital in Ukraine


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