NATO Summit 2024: Zelenskyy's Pitch For Action Against Russia; Biden Hails 'Greatest Alliance In World History'

"It was here where they made a sacred pledge that would become NATO, the greatest Alliance in history of the world," Biden said.

NATO Summit 2024 in Washington DC | Photo: AP

The NATO Summit, which began in Washington DC on Tuesday, witnessed the signing of a nearly $700 million contract to have member countries produce more Stinger missiles, signifying the emphasis on getting each country to boss its weapon production capabilities.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the world must not wait for November -- for the US elections-- to drive back Russia's offensive against his country.

Notably, the leaders of New Zealand, Japan and South Korea attended the NATO summit for the third consecutive year.


China's Angry Response Over Deepening US Leadership

As Russia and China forging closer ties to counter the United States and the two Koreas support opposing sides of the conflict in Europe, NATO is also looking to deepen its relationship with its four Indo-Pacific partners.

Washington is trying to restrain Beijing's ambition to challenge the US-led world order, which the Chinese government dismisses as a Cold War mentality aimed at containing China's inevitable rise.

China reacted sternly to unconfirmed reports that NATO an its four Indo-Pacific partners are expected to release a document laying out their relationship and ability to respond jointly to any cyberattacks or disinformation threats.

Spokesman from China's foreign ministry, Lin Jian, accused NATO of "breaching its boundary, expanding its mandate, reaching beyond its defence zone and stoking confrontation".

The US has also said that China is supplying machine tools, microelectronics and other technology to Russia, facilitating its weapons production for use against Ukraine.

As tensions grew between Beijing and Washington in 2019, NATO and China had a little conflict, the same year the NATO Summit in London termed China as a "challenge" that "we need to address together as an alliance". Two years later, NATO called China a "systemic challenge" and said that it was "cooperating with Russia".

Greatest Alliance In World History

US President Joe Biden hailed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Tuesday. Recalling the coming together of 12 nation leaders 75 years ago, when the history was watching.

"It had been four years since the end of the most devastating war ever known," he said, adding that, "It was here where they made a sacred pledge that would become NATO, the greatest Alliance in history of the world."

As world leaders gathered at the summit, Biden was also keen on demonstrating hi capability to retain the US Presidency for another four-year term.

While European and North American leaders were confronting the probable prospect of Donald Trump's return -- a NATO skeptic -- Biden tried to save his re-election campaign, which has been in a tailspin following a disastrous presidential debate against Trump on June 27.

“Our allies are looking for U.S. leadership,” Biden said in an MSNBC interview Monday. “Who else do you think can step in here and do this? I expanded NATO. I solidified NATO. I made sure that we're in a position where we have a coalition of... nations around the world to deal with China, with Russia, with everything that's going on in the world. We're making real progress.”

Stinger Missile Contract At $700 Million

NATO signed a nearly $700 Stinger missile contract to boost the weapon's production while also pressing at each of the country to boost its own weapon production capabilities.

Outgoing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the contract at a Chamber of Commerce industry day focused on increasing the defence manufacturing of the NATO member countries to curb any future attacks.

“There is no way to provide strong defense without a strong defense industry," Stoltenberg said.

The Stinger is a portable surface-to-air defence system that can be carried and fired by troops or mounted to a vehicle and used as a short-range defense against aircraft.

Notably, the Raytheon-produced system was one of the first weapons that the US shipped to Ukraine after Russia's invasion in 2022.

US National security advisor Jake Sullivan said that the NATO alliance will help it to "prioritise production of the most vital defence equipment we would need in the event of a conflict."

NATO Allies Commit Air-Defense System To Ukraine

The US and a group of other NATO allies committed themselves towards sending dozens of air-defense systems to Ukraine in the coming months, including at least four of the powerful Patriot systems that Kyiv has been desperately seeking to help fight off Russian advances in the war.

In a new joint agreement, US President Joe Biden announced the broader commitment. As per the statement, the US, Germany and Romania will send Ukraine additional Patriot batteries while the Netherlands and others will provide Patriot components to make up one more battery.

Additionally, Italy will provide a SAMP-T air-defence system. On the other hand, allies including Canada, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom will assist Ukraine in expanding its coverage by providing a set of other systems. These will include NASAMS, HAWKs, IRIS T-SLM, IRIS T-SLS and Gepards.

"We are fighting for more air-defence systems for Ukraine and I am confident we will succeed," Ukranian President Volodymr Zelenskyy said.


"We are also striving to secure more aircraft, including F-16s. Additionally, we are pushing for enhanced security guarantees for Ukraine, including weapons, financial aid and political support," he added.

Zelenskyy said that the Patriot systems would help his country prevent Russian aircraft from flying close enough to drop the glide bombs on civilians and critical infrastructure, noting that Russia had been firing 3,000 bombs into his country every month.

Zelenskyy's Pitch For Action Against Putin

Attending the NATO summit in Washington, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the world cannot wait for the US elections in November to take action over Russia's offensive against his country.


He said that the world was waiting on the November results, to see the voters' decision between the incumbent Joe Biden and Republican opponent Donald Trump. However, he said that action needed to be taken before that to defeat Russian President Vladimir Putin in his war against Ukraine.

Though Zelenskyy is in attendance at the NATO summit, his most wished for commitment -- a membership in the military alliance -- continues to remain elusive.

This comes in the backdrop that European and North American are in no rush to make Ukraine a NATO member, especially while it is engaged in active hostilities with Russia that could drag the issue into a broader war.


The Ukrainian President is set to have a separate meeting with Biden on Thursday against the backdrop of the 2024 NATO summit.

(With AP inputs)