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Biden to Congress: US will stand with Ukraine ‘as long as it takes’
U.S. President Joe Biden pledged to support Ukraine as long as needed during his annual State of the Union address as Russia’s all-out war approaches its one-year anniversary on Feb. 24.
“I spoke from this chamber one year ago, just days after Vladimir Putin unleashed his brutal war against Ukraine. A murderous assault, evoking images of the death and destruction Europe suffered in World War II,” Biden said in the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Biden said that Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine “has been a test for the ages, a test for America, a test for the world.”
"Would we stand for the most basic of principles? Would we stand for sovereignty? Would we stand for the right of people to live free from tyranny? Would we stand for the defense of democracy?" he asked the members of Congress.
"One year later, we know the answer. Yes, we would. And yes, we did. Together, we did what America always does at our best," he said.
“We led. We united NATO and built a global coalition. We stood against Putin’s aggression. We stood with the Ukrainian people.”
Addressing Ukraine's Ambassador to the U.S., Oksana Markarova, Biden said that she represented "not just her nation, but the courage of her people."
"Ambassador, America is united in our support for your country. We will stand with you as long as it takes," he said.
On Feb. 3, the U.S. announced a new security package worth $2.17 billion to Ukraine, which includes long-range Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) missiles for U.S.-provided HIMARS multiple rocket launchers and more Javelin anti-tank weapons.
“In total, the US has committed $32 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since 2014, and $29.3 billion since Russia's unprovoked and illegal invasion nearly one year ago this month,” Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder said on Feb. 3.
So far, the U.S. has been reluctant to supply high-precision, long-range ATACMS missiles over concerns that Ukraine could use them to attack targets deep inside Russia. Ukraine has also called for its Western partners to provide fighter jets, but so far, none has signaled it is ready to do so.
Previously, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine needs long-range missiles, including ATACMS, to stop “Russian terror.”