US President Joe Biden sees Ukraine's struggle for freedom against Russia as part of a broader conflict - and has pledged US support to Kyiv "as long as it is necessary".
The fight in Ukraine is "part of something much bigger," Biden said. "The American people know that the world would certainly face worse consequences if we stood by in the face of such blatant attacks on freedom and democracy and the basic principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity," Biden said during a visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the US white house.
The United States would continue to support Kyiv with all its might - as long as it was necessary, Biden promised. "You will never stand alone," he assured. "The American people have been with you every step of the way, and we will stand by you for as long as it is necessary." The United States and its allies are committed to ensuring that the brave Ukrainian people can defend their country against Russia no matter how long that takes.
Biden: Nato and the EU have never been so united
"I don't see any reason to believe that support will wane," Biden said. He has never seen NATO and the European Union so united. "And I don't see any signs that anything will change. We all know what's at stake here - the idea of sovereignty, the UN Charter," said the President.
Biden accused Russia of using "winter as a weapon". Moscow is targeting Ukraine's infrastructure during the coldest and darkest season. Russia lets the people in Ukraine starve and freeze. "This is the latest example of the egregious atrocities being committed by Russian forces against innocent Ukrainian civilians, children and their families."
Zelenskyy to Americans: "I wish you peace"
Zelenskyy again thanked his American colleague for supporting his country. Zelenskyy said he considered his visit to Washington "historic" because the US and Ukraine have now become real partners and allies. He also thanked the latest military support package. The included Patriot anti-aircraft system will protect Ukraine's airspace from further "terrorist attacks" by the Russian military on Ukrainian infrastructure.
Then Zelenskyi addressed the American people with emphatic words. "I wish you peace," said Zelenskyj in English when asked what his message to the American people was. He wished that the people of the United States could see their children live and grow up, that they could follow them going to university and having children of their own. Peace is the most important thing. "We are really fighting for a common victory against this tyranny," said Zelenskyj. "And we will win." Of that he is sure.
The US is Ukraine's main ally. They support the country in defending against Russia's attack with military equipment and money, among other things. On the occasion of Zelenskyy's visit, the United States announced another military aid package worth 1.85 billion US dollars (around 1.7 billion euros). Also included is a Patriot battery. The air defense system is likely to complicate Russia's missile and drone attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.