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Tipsheet

Biden Says Ukraine's War With Russia Must End Before the Country Can Join NATO

AP Photo/Susan Walsh, POOL

President Joe Biden vowed to continue sending massive military aid to Ukraine despite denying requests for the country to join NATO.

On Sunday, Biden sat down with CNN, saying there has not yet been an agreement within NATO on when Ukraine will be allowed to join the military alliance. 

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"I think we have to lay out a rational path for Ukraine to be able to qualify to be able to get into NATO," Biden said, claiming Russian President Vladimir Putin's primary goal regarding his invasion of Ukraine was to destroy NATO, and keeping the alliance together is essential for the security of the U.S. and the West. 

"I believe Putin has had an overwhelming objective from the time he launched 185,000 troops into Ukraine, and that was to break NATO," Biden said. "So, holding NATO together is really critical."

The president assured Ukraine the U.S. would continue sending billions of dollars in aid.

Biden acknowledged reluctance among current NATO members to "bring Ukraine into the NATO family now" because the defense commitment would mean that all alliance members, including the U.S., would be at war with Russia.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has requested to join NATO for months in the wake of Russia's invasion. However, Biden said allowing this would compel the U.S. and Western allies to join the conflict fully and declare war on Russia. 

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"I have spoken with Zelenskyy at length about this, and one of the things I indicated is the United States would be ready to provide, while the process was going on, ... security a la the security we provide for Israel," Biden continued. 

On top of the $100 billion in aid Biden has already sent to Ukraine, the U.S. has also delivered tens of thousands of artillery shells, extensive missile defense systems, and information to Ukrainian forces. 

The president has indicated his support of sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukrainian forces, which would require months of training for Ukrainian pilots.

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