At the latest NATO meeting, NATO officially added a new member. Russian President Vladimir Putin lost the war in Ukraine, US President Biden says.
"Putin has a real problem," said US President Joe Biden at the final press briefing during his NATO visit. "How does he move from here? What does he do?" he asked.
Joe Biden visited Vilnius, Lithuania, for the annual NATO meeting, where he tested and confirmed the alliance’s strength. Biden, as United States President, is the de facto political leader of the whole bloc.
The meeting was an undeniable success. On the first day of the summit, NATO removed the impasse over Sweden’s ascension as a new member.
Sweden applied for NATO membership one year ago, following the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine. Finland too, another Scandinavian country sharing an 800km border with Russia, requested to join the alliance.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, however, vetoed the entrance of Sweden and Finland for reasons concerning Kurdish leaders’ protection inside the Scandinavian countries.
However, when President Biden threatened to cancel a new sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey, Erdogan immediately signed up for Swedish membership.
NATO has now officially reaffirmed its strength and boosted its firepower. The Baltic Sea is almost completely under NATO control, meaning Russian warships cannot access the Atlantic Ocean from there. The Finnish border is only a few hundred kilometers from Saint Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city.
How the Ukraine war will be affected
This is why Biden said "Putin’s already lost the war" at the meeting’s final briefing. Russia’s original goal was to weaken NATO, preventing Ukraine from joining and extending the alliance’s borders.
The invasion, however, showed Western nations how important American protection is, and how unreliable Russia can become. It also taught the European Union how unsafe it is to import energy from one single energy source.
Russia is now a "petro-vassal" of China. With the forced seizure of the European market, Russia must rely on China as its main oil and gas buyer. Therefore, China can decide the terms and prices of these transactions, weakening Moscow even further.
The invasion of Ukraine was a terrible geostrategic blunder in every imaginable way. And it’s not certain it will even be a successful war for Russia.
Even though the counter-offensive is proceeding slowly, Russia has proven to lack military capabilities for an attack of its own. Their only hope is that Western supplies of weapons will run out before Russian morale does.
And given the sudden and unexpected military coup attempted by Yevgeny Prigozhin, morale could be running extremely low already.
But even if the Kremlin turns the situation around, even if they win the war in Ukraine, what will they achieve? A stronger NATO and subservience to China. Putin has truly lost this war.