NATO Summit: leaders unite in support of Ukraine, Russia watches closely

NATO Summit: leaders unite in support of Ukraine, Russia watches closely

Shafaq News/ NATO leaders will gather on Tuesday in Washington for a summit aimed at showing support for Ukraine in light of “political ambiguity” on several fronts.

The US president, Joe Biden, will try to use the three days of pomp marking NATO’s 75th anniversary to reassure allies over US leadership and his own ability to govern, as calls grow for him to quit the fight for a second term in office.

The 81-year-old leader has so far defied pressure from some within his own party to step aside after a "disastrous" debate against election rival Donald Trump last month, which underscored by some observers and democrats concerns about his mental acuity and physical fitness for a second term.

“Our allies are looking for US leadership,” Biden said in an interview Monday.

“Who else do you think could step in here and do this? I expanded NATO. I solidified NATO.”

As doubts swirl over Biden, the rest of the 32-nation alliance is nervously eyeing a potential return to the White House by Trump after elections in November.

On the campaign trail, the ex-reality TV star has threatened to blow apart the principle of mutual self-defense that has underpinned NATO since it was founded in the wake of World War II, stating that any attack on a member state shall be considered an attack on all members.

However, it’s not just the United States that faces political questions.

French President Emmanuel Macron will participate in the meeting after his camp advanced over the French far right, which was likely to obtain an absolute majority in the National Assembly. The meeting will be also attended by the new British Prime Minister, Keir Starmer, while Hungary’s premier Viktor Orban flies in after a much-criticized meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

NATO leaders will have to show they haven’t been distracted from the reality of the battlefield in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be a guest at the summit, hoping to ensure that his country obtains more Patriot air defense systems, which he has been demanding for months to confront Russian attacks, especially after the weakness of his forces became apparent in the face of Russian strikes that shook several Ukrainian cities on Monday.

According to Agence France-Presse, the meeting will agree to strengthen the alliance’s role in coordinating the US Army’s weapons deliveries to Ukraine, contributing to protecting supplies regardless of any political changes in Washington.

This year, 23 out of NATO's 32 members are expected to meet the alliance's goal of spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense. A decade ago, only 3 countries had achieved this milestone.

The Kremlin confirmed that it is “closely” following the NATO summit, which will begin in the coming hours.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow "will follow with great interest (...) the tone of the talks and the decisions that will be taken," according to AFP.

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