What to Know in Washington: Biden Preps for Victory Lap at NATO

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President Joe Biden will cast the NATO summit as a successful result of his global engagement, arguing in a capstone address Wednesday that diligent diplomacy and US aid strengthened security for Ukraine and its allies after Russia’s invasion.

For Biden, it’s a case that serves dual purposes: offering a rallying cry for world leaders as the grueling economic and human toll of Russia’s war grows and validating his reelection pitch as a seasoned foreign-policy hand uniquely able to unite a fractured world.

Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Biden’s pitch was bolstered by Turkey’s historic agreement to support Sweden’s membership in the alliance, validating the president’s patience through a contentious ascension process.

And while Volodymyr Zelenskiy presaged his arrival at the summit with a furious tweet bemoaning the alliance’s slow-walking of his country’s membership request, he was set to join Biden and other Group of Seven leaders Wednesday afternoon for a ceremony celebrating a new package of aid and long-term security guarantees.

As a result, Biden was readying a victory lap in what aides were describing as a major address from the campus of Vilnius University. The president intended to highlight “how the United States, along with our allies and partners, is supporting Ukraine, defending democratic values, and taking action to address global challenges,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters.

Still, Biden’s ability to convince other leaders — and voters — that his achievements are sustainable will be crucial to the future of the conflict in Ukraine and his political standing.

Biden’s approach to the war remains largely popular among both his base and swing voters. A plurality of Americans surveyed by Pew approved of the administration’s response to the war and believed the US was providing the right amount of aid.

Aides indicated Biden’s speech would at least tacitly draw contrasts with Republicans vying to replace him, depicting the summit’s successful outcomes as a testament to his foreign-policy approach.

“He has devoted significant time — dozens, if not hundreds, of hours over the past two and a half years — to restoring America’s place on the world stage,” Sullivan said, leaving unsaid the implied contrast with former President Donald Trump.

Justin Sink and Jennifer Jacbos recap Biden’s wins and NATO and preview how they could help him at home.


  • The president attended a meeting with Sweden, Indo-Pacific partners, and the EU in Vilnius before heading to a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council, again with Sweden. Later, he participates in a photo with G7 leaders.
  • Biden meets with Zelenskiy before delivering his remarks. After, he’ll leave Vilnius for Helsinki, Finland.


  • The House is back at noon to start floor work on the defense policy bill.
  • Senators convene at 10 a.m. to advance more of Biden’s nominees.

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To contact the reporters on this story: Giuseppe Macri in Washington at gmacri@bgov.com; Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com

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