In an interview that was broadcast on Sunday, President Joe Biden said that Ukraine was not prepared to become a member of NATO and that it was “premature” to begin the process that would enable Ukraine to join the alliance while the country was in the midst of a conflict.
Mr. Biden said, in reference to the pledge of the alliance to provide for each other’s defence, that “If the war is going on, then we are all in war.” If it were the true, then we would already be at war with Russia. In addition, he said that there would be “other qualifications that need to be met, including democratisation,” in order for Ukraine to be taken into consideration for membership.
The president started a journey to Europe on Sunday, which will involve attending a NATO meeting in Lithuania. The primary topic of discussion at the summit will be Russia’s conflict in Ukraine, as well as a decision made by the United States to provide Kyiv with weapons that are prohibited by the majority of its partners. This decision was made last week.
During the interview, Mr. Biden said that he had cautioned President Xi Jinping of China against developing an unhealthy relationship with Russia. He went on to say that when the Chinese leader had met with Vladimir V. Putin, the President of Russia, in March, President Joe Biden called with Mr. Xi and reminded him that a large number of American companies had moved out of Russia since the conflict started.
Mr. Biden also defended his choice to send cluster bombs to the Ukrainian government, despite the fact that many of the United States’ closest allies do not permit their use. He said it was a tough decision, but with artillery supplies depleting, it was a choice between delivering the guns or leaving Ukraine defenceless. He said it was a choice between supplying the weapons or leaving Ukraine defenceless.
At the NATO summit, one of the key topics that will be discussed is Sweden’s interest in becoming a member of the alliance. Despite objections from Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Biden said he was “optimistic” that Sweden was getting closer to admittance into the group after meeting with the Swedish prime minister last week. Mr. Biden also met with the Swedish prime minister. (However, Mr. Erdogan does favour the accession of Ukraine; on Saturday, he said, with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine at his side, that “Ukraine deserves NATO membership with no doubt.”)
During the course of the conversation, Mr. Biden, who is 80 years old and is seeking re-election, addressed some of the issues that have been raised about his age.