U.S. President Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday called Ukraine's fight against Russian invasion "part of a larger fight that unites all people".

Biden took the opportunity to tie the solemnity of the American Memorial Day holiday to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

"In this moment, when a war of aggression is once more being waged by Russia to snuff out the freedom, the democracy, the very culture and identity of neighboring Ukraine, we see so clearly all that’s at stake," he said.

He continued: "Today, in the perennial struggle for democracy and freedom, Ukraine and its people are on the frontlines fighting to save their nation. But their fight is part of a larger fight that unites all people.  It is a fight that so many of the patriots, whose eternal rest is here in these hallowed grounds, were part of. A battle between democracy and autocracy, between liberty and repression, between appetites and ambition of a few who forever seek to dominate the lives and liberties of many. A battle for essential democratic principles -- the rule of law, free and fair elections, freedom to speak and write and to assemble, freedom to worship as one chooses, freedom of the press -- principles that are essential for a free society."

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austinm, in his turn, also echoed Biden's sentiment, highlighting in his speech the “power of democratic citizens and soldiers to defy tyranny, cruelty and oppression,” in Ukraine as Russia’s invasion of the country continues.

“Today, on the battlefields of Ukraine, the world again sees the power of democratic citizens and soldiers to defy tyranny, cruelty, and oppression. Their freedom is under attack. And so is the international order rooted in the rules that we have built since World War II, at such terrible cost,” Austin said. adding that the U.S. understands “the challenge” posed by the threat in Ukraine.

“We’re determined to meet it,” he said.

White House is expected to announce that it will supply Ukraine with rocket systems that Kyiv says are necessary to battle Russia’s offensive in the Donbas region.

In the meantime, Biden, when asked Monday morning about his plans, said: “We are not going to send to Ukraine rocket systems that strike into Russia.” He didn’t elaborate.

The weapons the U.S. is considering include Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, or MLRS. After the president's remarks Monday, an administration official told reporters that sending MLRS to Ukraine is under consideration for battlefield use, but that "nothing is on the table with long-range strike capabilities" that could hit targets in Russia.

White House on Monday also expressed support for Turkey's continued talks with Sweden and Finland over NATO membership

In a readout, the White House said Biden's National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke by phone with Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesperson and chief adviser to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Sullivan “expressed support for Turkey’s continued direct talks with Sweden and Finland to resolve concerns over their applications for NATO membership, which the U.S. strongly supports,” while the two “discussed their ongoing support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s continued aggression, as well as their respective efforts to enable Ukrainian agricultural exports to reach global markets."

Alex Raufoglu

Washington D.C.

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