Biden says Putin is wrong to believe 'he can outlast Ukraine'

Biden says Putin is wrong to believe 'he can outlast Ukraine'

Putin 'still making a bad bet' after a year-and-a-half of war, says US president

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - US President Joe Biden said Wednesday that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, is wrong to believe that he can win a war of attrition against Ukraine, maintaining Washington will not waiver in its support.

"Putin still wrongly believes that he can outlast Ukraine. He can't believe it's their land, their country and their future. And even after all this time, Putin still doubts our staying power," Biden said in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital. "He's still making a bad bet."

The comments come as NATO allies conclude their two-day summit in Lithuania, formally announcing new security assurances for Ukraine, as well as sweeping military aid packages for Kyiv as it continues to fight back against Russia's year-and-a-half war.

Biden maintained the US and its international allies "will not waver" in their support for Kyiv, adding "our commitment to Ukraine will not weaken."

Putin, he said, "still doesn't understand that our commitment, our values, our freedom is something we can never, never, ever, ever walk away from."

"It's who we are," he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has long sought a swift pathway for his country's entry into NATO, but allies stopped short of providing it amid the ongoing conflict in his country. Allies have raised concerns that Ukraine's entry while the war is ongoing could trigger the alliance's mutual defense clause.

But NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg hailed Ukraine as an "equal" who will one day join the alliance.

"We stand with you in your courageous struggle for freedom and sovereignty. We are humbled by all the sacrifices that Ukrainians have made in this fight and we are inspired by your courage," Stoltenberg said, directing his words towards Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people.

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