NATO summit: Biden’s jab at Trump and Zelensky’s plea to leaders

BRUSSELS (Parliament Politics Magazine) –  The leaders of the world laughed as US President Joe Biden took a jab at Donald Trump.

As he addressed an emergency NATO summit in Brussels, Mr Biden poked fun at his predecessor.

Mr Trump has called the military alliance “obsolete” and criticised countries for not spending enough on defence during his four years in the White House.

In a closed-door meeting with NATO officials, Mr Biden backed the previous president’s position on member countries investing more money in their armed capabilities.

“Please don’t confuse me for my predecessor,” he urged. “He didn’t treat you very well.”

That prompted a round of laughter in the meeting, a Western diplomat remarked.

It occurred after the 30-nation alliance decided to beef up measures to protect Ukraine and its members from a Russian nuclear and chemical assault.

“Today we agreed to do more, including cyber-security assistance and equipment to help Ukraine protect against biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear threats,” Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels.

This could involve decontamination and “crisis management” training, as well as detecting devices, protection, and medical supplies.

Mr Stoltenberg stated that Nato’s chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defence forces had been alerted, and that “we are taking measures both to protect Ukraine and to defend ourselves.”

They were concerned, partly because they could see the rhetoric and they saw that Russia was trying to create a pretext of some kind- accusing the US, Nato allies and Ukraine – of preparing to use biological and chemical weapons, Mr Stoltenberg said when asked if the move was based on credible intelligence.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Voldymyr Zelensky pleaded with NATO leaders to deploy warplanes and tanks to his war-torn country so that forces may oppose Russian invaders.

He cautioned leaders from the coalition’s 30 member countries that delays in crucial equipment were costing lives in an emotional video link plea to an emergency summit at the coalition’s headquarters.

“You have thousands of fighter jets, but we haven’t received any yet,” he fumed.

“We requested tanks so that we might unblock our dying cities – Mariupol, Berdyansk, Melitopol, and others – cities where Russia is holding hundreds of thousands of people captive and purposefully producing hunger; there is no water, no food, nothing there.”

“You have at least 20,000 tanks; Ukraine has asked for a percentage – one percent of all your tanks – to be given or sold to us, but we have yet to receive a definite response.”

“During the battle, the worst thing is not getting clear replies to calls for assistance.”

Despite the fact that military analysts claim Kremin warplanes have failed to win air superiority, Mr Zelensky claims their advantage in the sky is like using weapons of mass destruction.

“You see the consequences now – how many people were slaughtered, how many innocent cities were destroyed,” he addressed NATO leaders, including Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden.

He slammed Moscow for employing its complete armament against them which destroys all living things, all objects – from hospitals and bridges to universities, food warehouses to churches and houses. 

Mr. Zelensky went on to say: “We just want to save our people, we want to survive.”

Boris Johnson is said to have questioned allies over whether enough has been done by them to help Ukraine.

The PM, according to a UK official, said that they all wanted Putin to wake up and put his tanks in reverse, but he was going to grind on, only had forward gears.

Eleni Kyriakou

Eleni is a journalist and analyst at Parliament Magazine focusing on European News and current affairs. She worked as Press and Communication Office – Greek Embassy in Lisbon and Quattro Books Publications, Canada. She is Multilingual with a good grip of cultures, eye in detail, communicative, effective. She holds Master in degree from York University.