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() — World leaders must continue to support Ukraine in its war with Russia, President Joe Biden said at his annual address before the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday, emphasizing that the sovereignty of other countries depends on it.
Russia, Biden said, believes the world will grow “weary” and allow it to “brutalize Ukraine without consequence.”
To those world leaders gathered at the address, though, Biden asked if they would feel protected if “core values” were abandoned to “appease an aggressor.”
“If you allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?” Biden said during his remarks. “I’d respectfully suggest the answer is no. We have to stand up to this naked aggression today and deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow.”
It’s a message Biden previewed already in a pair of fundraisers on Monday evening, where he told supporters that he stood up to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion — and questioned whether his predecessor Donald Trump would have attempted to do the same.
“I will not side with dictators like Putin. Maybe Trump and his MAGA friends can bow down but I won’t,” Biden told supporters at a Broadway fundraiser.
Some world leaders, British Prime Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Putin, skipped Tuesday morning’s U.N. gathering.
Biden’s message of unwavering support for Ukraine comes as Congress is increasingly divided over providing additional funding for the country. While Biden has sought a package of $13.1 billion, conservative Republican lawmakers have been pushing for spending cuts. Some lawmakers allied with Trump are specifically looking to stop money to Ukraine.
After his speech, Biden will meet with António Guterres, the U.N. secretary-general, as well as leaders from the so-called C5 group of Central Asian nations — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The meeting is expected to focus on regional security, trade, climate change, ongoing reforms to improve governance and other issues.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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