US President Joe Biden is addressing world leaders at the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York.
He is expected to use his address to make a robust case that the world must remain united in defending Ukraine against Russian aggression, warning that no nation can be secure if “we allow Ukraine to be carved up.”
“Russia believes that the world will grow weary and allow it to brutalise Ukraine without consequence. But I ask you this: If we abandon the core principles of the UN. Charter to appease an aggressor, can any member state feel confident that they are protected?” Biden plans to say in his address, according to excerpts released by the White House.
“If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?”
Biden will say, “the answer is no,” as he condemns Russia’s “naked aggression” and implores world leaders to stand up and defend Ukraine’s sovereignty in order to “deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow.”
Biden previewed his thinking in a pair of fundraisers on Monday evening, telling supporters that he stood up to Vladimir Putin’s invasion, and questioning whether Trump, the 2024 GOP presidential frontrunner, would have even attempted to help Ukraine stop the Russian land grab if he were in power.
“I will not side with dictators like Putin. Maybe Trump and his MAGA friends can bow down but I won’t,” Biden told supporters at a Broadway fundraiser.
There will be notable absences as the president makes his case before the General Assembly: British Prime Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Putin are all skipping the gathering.
For Biden, the more important audience for Tuesday’s speech could be closer to home as he looks to make the case to voters that he’s skillfully handled a complicated foreign policy agenda and that the experience that comes with age has proved to be an asset. It’s an argument that the 80-year-old president is likely to continue to make to try to counter skepticism – even in his own Democratic Party – among voters who are concerned about his age.
“We rallied the world to support Ukraine and united NATO because I was convinced from the beginning that Putin’s counting on NATO not being able to stick together,” Biden said at another Monday fundraiser. “He’s still trying. And our allies know once again, the United States can be counted on.”
Biden’s message of unwavering support for Ukraine will play out as Congress is increasingly divided over providing additional funding for Kyiv.
Biden has sought a package of $13.1 billion in additional military aid for Ukraine and $8.5 billion for humanitarian support. But conservative Republican lawmakers have been pushing for broad federal spending cuts and some of those allied with Trump are specifically looking to stop money to Ukraine.
In addition to underscoring continued US support for Ukraine, Biden is expected to touch on mobilizing global resources to combat climate change and bolstering multilateral organizations to help poor and middle-income countries, according to senior administration officials.
Biden aims to send a message that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is in violation of the UN charter and to emphasize that every country has a stake in defending a nation’s sovereignty, especially when it is under attack, said the officials, who previewed Biden’s activities in New York this week on condition of anonymity.