US President Joe Biden welcomed a decision Friday to activate land, sea and air elements of NATO’s Response Force for the first time in the collective defense history.
“I strongly welcome the decision to activate NATO’s defensive plans and elements of the NATO Response Force to strengthen our collective posture, as well as the commitments by our Allies to deploy additional land and air forces to the eastern flank and maritime forces from the High North to the Mediterranean,” Biden said, according to a White House statement.
Biden’s remarks came after NATO leaders agreed to continue supporting Ukraine, as well as Georgia, Moldova and Bosnia and Herzegovina as Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine entered a second day Friday, with the latest reports indicating that Russian troops were heading toward the capital, Kyiv, from several directions.
“NATO is as united and resolute as it’s ever been, and NATO will maintain its Open Door to those European states who share our values and who one day may seek to join our Alliance,” he noted.
“As we navigate this crisis, we pledged to work even more closely together in our defense of freedom and the democratic values that imbue our Alliance with purpose and power,” he added.
Following Friday’s NATO summit, Biden said he also spoke with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“I commended the brave actions of the Ukrainian people who were fighting to defend their country,” he said. “I also conveyed ongoing economic, humanitarian, and security support being provided by the United States as well as our continued efforts to rally other countries to provide similar assistance.”