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Biden, Zelenskyy expected to meet during this week's NATO summit

The meeting of leaders is expected to focus on ongoing U.S. support for Ukraine's war with Russia.
Posted at 9:23 PM, Jul 10, 2023

U.S. officials have confirmed that President Biden expects to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania this week.

The meeting is expected to run on the sidelines of a NATO summit that begins in Lithuania on Tuesday. There, President Biden and other NATO leaders are expected to discuss Russia's war in Ukraine and Ukraine's relationship to NATO. Leaders are expected to discuss new defense plans in case Russia targets areas beyond Ukraine, and are expected to talk about defense spending and budgets as material support continues for Ukraine.

During his meeting with Zelenskyy, President Biden is expected to discuss ongoing support for the war effort. Last week, the U.S. confirmed that it plans to send cluster munitions as part of its latest support package for Ukraine's military. They will be used in artillery pieces that were themselves provided to Ukraine by the U.S. and other allies.

A Ukrainian serviceman of the 10th Assault Brigade Edelweiss fires a D-30 cannon towards Russian positions.

Biden administration approves cluster munitions for Ukraine

Those against the plans cite humanitarian concerns and falling out of step with allies.

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Ukraine is not a member of the NATO coalition, and the U.S. for the moment believes it should stay that way. President Biden says bringing in Ukraine could provoke Russia. He has said the U.S. will instead continue to provide "long-term security assistance."

NATO has helped train and equip Ukraine during the war, and during this summit a NATO-Ukraine council is expected to form to tighten communications between the two.

Separately this week, Turkey and NATO have agreed to accelerate Sweden's accession into NATO.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shakes hands with Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.

Biden welcomes Turkey's agreement to advance Sweden's NATO accession

NATO officials said talks with Turkey's involvement have pushed Sweden's NATO accession protocol forward, after being held up since last year.

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