VILNIUS, Lithuania — President Joe Biden promised Ukraine that its Western partners would not back away from its defense in a speech Wednesday following two days of high-stakes meetings with leaders at a NATO summit.
Speaking before a heaving crowd on a bright Wednesday evening, Biden vowed that “the defense of freedom is not the work of a day or a year. It’s the calling of our lifetime — of all time.”
“We are steeled for the struggle ahead,” the president added. Of Ukraine’s partners, he said, “Our unity will not falter, I promise you.”
The event here proved a test of Biden’s promise upon taking office to repair America’s international relationships, which include NATO, the 31-country mutual defense pact forged in the aftermath of World War II. Top of the agenda was Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has raged on NATO’s doorstep for close to 18 months.