Biden announces US and allies to provide Ukraine with air defense system in Nato summit speech – live | US elections 2024


Biden announces US and allies to provide Ukraine with air defense system

The US and partners will be providing Ukraine with dozes of new tactical air defense system, Biden announced.

“All told Ukraine will receive hundreds of additional interceptors,” Biden said.

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Key events

Representative Maxine Waters, the most senior woman in the Congressional Black Caucus, remained supportive of Biden’s candidacy

“I’ve absolutely come to the conclusion that we have to move forward with Joe Biden,” Waters told Zerlina Maxwell on SiriusXM’s Mornings with Zerlina. “Number one, I think there is a problem with logistics and timing and all of that, and reorganizing what has been done with the Democratic National Committee. So there’s a practical problem, but the other problem is this, the man has been a good president.”

Maxwell praised Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris as his vice president, as well as policies and reforms she said have benefitted Black Americans:

And with the black community, you know, the man chose a black woman to be vice president. He put a black woman on the United States Supreme Court for the first time in the history of this country. He supported and funded the HBCUs, our community colleges and universities. And so recognizing some of the health needs and the problems that we have, he put a cap on insulin…. So I don’t have any complaints about him. If I have any complaints at all, it’s that he has not, and I, and others have not done enough to communicate his accomplishments. And so that’s where I am.

The White House has sent out more details on an air defense package for Ukraine.

In a joint statement with Dutch prime minister Dick Schoof, German chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni, Romanian president Klaus Iohannis, and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the allies said that Ukraine would receive additional strategic air defense systems.

Today, we are announcing that, collectively, we are providing Ukraine with additional strategic air defense systems, including additional Patriot batteries donated by the United States, Germany, and Romania; Patriot components donated by the Netherlands and other partners to enable the operation of an additional Patriot battery; and an additional SAMP-T system donated by Italy. These five strategic air defense systems will help to protect Ukrainian cities, civilians, and soldiers, and we are coordinating closely with the Ukrainian government so that these systems can be utilized rapidly. We are working on a further announcement this year of additional strategic air defense systems for Ukraine.

In addition, in the coming months, the United States and partners intend to provide Ukraine with dozens of tactical air defense systems, including NASAMS, Hawks, Iris T-SLM, Iris T-SLS, and Gepard systems. These systems will further expand and strengthen Ukraine’s air defense coverage. Several allies – including Canada, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom – will continue to play an integral role in the provision of these systems, and many other supporters of Ukraine will assist in the provision of interceptors. For its part, the United States will re-sequence planned deliveries of foreign military sales of critical air defense interceptors in coordination with partners so they are delivered to Ukraine, providing Ukraine with hundreds of additional air defense interceptors over the next year.

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Kamala Harris: Biden ‘is a fighter’

Léonie Chao-Fong

Léonie Chao-Fong

Meanwhile, Kamala Harris was speaking at a campaign event in Nevada.

Harris spoke at a campaign rally in Las Vegas. Harris announced the launch of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) for Biden-Harris, a national program to mobilize AANHPI voters. Photograph: Steve Marcus/AP

She doubled down on her support of Joe Biden, describing the embattled president as a “fighter” as she warned Donald Trump would turn the country from a democracy into a dictatorship if he was re-elected to the White House in November.

The vice-president alluded to Biden’s struggles since his calamitous debate performance last month. “We always knew this election would be tough, and the past few days have been a reminder that running for president of the United States is never easy,” Harris said.

“But the one thing we know about our president, Joe Biden, is that he is a fighter. He is a fighter and he is the first to say, when you get knocked down, you get back up.” An audience member shouted back: “Yes, we all know.”

Voters face the “most existential, consequential and important election of our lifetime”, Harris warned at the event focused on Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. Harris, the first person of south Asian descent to serve as vice-president, noted that Trump “consistently incites hate”, including towards the AANHPI communities.

Someone who vilifies immigrants, who promotes xenophobia, someone who stokes hate, should never again have the chance to stand behind a microphone,” she added.

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The president was forceful, and in his comfort zone tonight.

This may not be enough reassurance for critics who worry about his performance during unscripted moments, but reading from a teleprompter, Biden delivered a speech without any hitches.

Although he did not mention Donald Trump by name, he spoke of the broad US support for the alliance, and quoted Regan in a nod to the bipartisan history of the US’s commitment to Nato.

“The American people understand what would happen if there was no Nato,” Biden said. “They know we’re strong with our friends, and we understand this is a sacred obligation.”

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Joe Biden awarded Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg the presidential medal of freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

He also apologized to Stoltenberg’s wife for keeping him in the job for so long.

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The president also quoted Ronald Regan: “If you are not at peace, we are not at peace.” He highlighted the importance of defending “fellow democracies”.

Biden: ‘Ukraine can and will stop Putin’

He said:

Before this war Putin thought Nato would break. Today, Nato is stronger than it’s ever been in its history …

The war will end with Ukraine remaining a free and independent country. Russia will not prevail.

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Biden announces US and allies to provide Ukraine with air defense system

The US and partners will be providing Ukraine with dozes of new tactical air defense system, Biden announced.

“All told Ukraine will receive hundreds of additional interceptors,” Biden said.

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Updated at 

“It’s a pleasure to host you in this milestone year,” Biden said.

He highlighted the strength of the alliance and progress since he took office.

“Today, Nato is better resourced than it ever has been. I want to pause on this because it’s significant,” he said. More Nato allies now are now paying dues – 2% of their GDP – than ever before.

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Joe Biden is now taking the stage for his address.

“History was watching” when leaders first came together to sign the Nato treaty in 1949, Biden began.

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Dan Sabbagh

Dan Sabbagh

Nato leaders have been emphasising that a record number of members, 23 out of 32, now meet a commitment first agreed 10 years ago to spend 2% of GDP on defence. Trump has repeatedly complained that smaller Nato countries do not “pay their dues” and this year threatened not to defend any country that was “delinquent”.

More recently, allies of Trump have argued that if elected again the Republican would demand a reorientation of Nato where European countries would be asked to increased defence spending further, while the US focuses more on China.

But such is the size of the US defence budget – $860bn, two-thirds of the total of all Nato members – that it would be difficult for European countries to replace a significant reallocation of resources from a Trump White House and to continue supporting Ukraine at the existing level of about €40bn a year.

On Monday Mike Johnson, the speaker of the House of Representatives and a leading Trump ally, said that while Republicans valued the military alliance and would stand by member countries in preventing conflict, “we also believe that Nato needs to be doing more”.

Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary general, started by highlighting the history of Nato.

“Our alliance was created by people who have lived through two devastating world wars,” he said. The alliance is “one for all and all for one”, he added.

He also noted that Nato’s alliance was “never a given”.

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The event tonight is taking place at the Mellon Auditorium, where the Nato treaty was first signed in 1949.

A highlight reel showing clips from the end of the second world war and the cold war, featuring clips from John F Kennedy, Ronald Regan and finally Joe Biden is playing before Biden takes the stage.

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Joe Biden walked on stage, along with Nato allied leaders and Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary general.

All eyes will be on the president tonight as he fights to redeem his political prospects and convince skeptics that he can win the election.

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Joe Biden to take stage at Nato summit

The president has said that his performance at the summit, which is commemorating 75 years of the transatlantic alliance and his work at the summit, will be a good way to judge his capabilities.

Today’s speech is especially high stakes. Biden is reeling from a disastrous performance at the presidential debates, and this speech will be his first major public address since then. The public will be watching closely for any flubs.

Biden is likely to highlight his foreign policy record – and his administration’s commitment to strengthening Nato. Donald Trump, meanwhile, has emphasized an “America First” approach and said that he would not defend Nato members if the came under attack. He has also questioned the amount of aid the US has provided to Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s invasion.

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Seventh House Democrat asks Biden to stand aside in election

Mikie Sherrill, a representative of New Jersey is the seventh congressional Democrat to ask Biden to step down.

“I realize this is hard, but we have done hard things in pursuit of democracy since the founding of this nation. It is time to do so again,” she wrote in a statement.

I know President Biden cares deeply about the future of our country.

That’s why I am asking that he declare that he won’t run for reelection.

My full statement: pic.twitter.com/rR2rmZ1ewN

— Mikie Sherrill (@MikieSherrill) July 9, 2024

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