MADRID - President Joe Biden planned to hold a news conference here Thursday as he wraps up a series of meetings with world leaders at which he sought to project a picture of unity and strength among allies amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Despite tensions on a number of fronts among the 30 NATO members, there were few signs of friction at the three-day meeting. Biden helped get one contentious issue off the table before he arrived Tuesday, helping to urge Turkey to sign off on Finland's and Sweden's requests to become NATO members.
The group collectively released a joint declaration calling Russia "the most significant and direct threat to allies' security and to the peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area." It had previously considered Russia a "strategic partner."
Biden took several steps on the trip to show the U.S. was ramping up both its support for Ukraine and its defenses across Europe. White House officials announced at the Group of Seven meeting in Germany earlier in the week that the U.S. was planning to provide a medium- to long-range surface-to-air missile system for Ukraine that would increase its capabilities to combat Russian strikes from farther away, along with other security assistance.
Biden said during the NATO summit that the U.S. would deploy additional troops to Romania on a rotating basis and enhance other rotational deployments in the Baltic states. He also said the U.S. would maintain a permanent headquarters for the Army's V Corps in Poland, a move that was originally planned by the Trump administration.
The U.S. also plans to send two F-35 squadrons to the United Kingdom, stage additional air defense and other capabilities in Germany and Italy, and build up naval operations in Spain, increasing the number of destroyers stationed there from four to six.
Ahead of the NATO summit, Biden spent three days meeting with the G-7 leaders in the Bavarian Alps, where conversation mainly focused on ways to shore up support for Ukraine and punish Russia.
The group, which collectively accounts for half of the world's economy, agreed to ban imports of Russian gold, enact a new round of sanctions targeting Russia's military supply chain and continue working on a mechanism to set a price cap on Russian oil imports.
Biden will return to Washington for just over a week before he heads back overseas for a trip to the Middle East, including stops in Israel and Saudi Arabia.