In a press briefing on Friday, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan outlined the key objectives of President Joe Biden‘s upcoming trip to Europe.
The visit will commence on Sunday, starting with meetings in London and continuing with the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. The trip will culminate with the U.S.-Nordic Leaders Summit in Finland.
Sullivan emphasized the importance of a strong NATO, highlighting that it enhances global safety and security. The top U.S. advisor stated that, “thanks in large part to the Biden leadership, NATO is stronger, more energized, and united than ever.”
Door Is Open For Ukraine To Join NATO Addressing the situation in Ukraine, Sullivan made it clear that Western support for the country will not waver. He stated, “Putin was wrong in expecting the Western support to Ukraine to fade over time.” The United States remains steadfast in standing with the Ukrainian people as they defend their freedom and democracy.
During the briefing, Sullivan discussed the U.S. commitment to supporting Ukraine’s defense efforts. “We base our security assistance decision to provide ammunition to Ukraine on Ukraine’s needs on the ground,” he explained. The assistance includes artillery for offensive and defensive operations, as well as a historic quantity of unitary artillery rounds.
Sullivan emphasized the open door for Ukraine’s NATO membership, underscoring the need for additional reforms to complete its path towards accession.
While acknowledging the challenges, Sullivan made it clear that the United States aims to support Ukraine without seeking to start a conflict. “We’ll provide Ukraine with an exceptional quantity of arms and capabilities. But we are not seeking to start World War III,” he stated.
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Belarus Poses A Threat, Sweden To Officially Enter NATO SoonRegarding NATO’s role, Sullivan emphasized that the alliance will defend every inch of its territory. Discussions at the NATO Summit will also address the evolving threat posed by Belarus and potential deployment of nuclear weapons in the region.
In addition to the focus on Ukraine, Sullivan expressed confidence in Sweden’s future NATO membership. “We believe also Sweden will become a NATO member as soon as possible. It will happen in a not too distant future,” he said.
President Biden’s trip to Europe signifies a renewed commitment to strengthening alliances, addressing security concerns, and promoting cooperation among NATO members.
The iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense ETF ITA, which offers exposure to a diversified portfolio of defense-related stocks, was 0.3% higher on Friday.
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