Biden’s call to unite behind Ukraine hints at real concern world could succumb to appeasement


More than a year and a half into this war, President Biden has felt the need to urge the world not to succumb to appeasement with Russia.

Allowing any carving up of Ukraine will render everyone less safe – that was the gist of the argument he made in the UN General Assembly.

In an address to the 78th session of the assembly in New York City on Tuesday, the US president said: “If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure? I respectfully suggest the answer is no – we have to stand up to this naked aggression today and deter the would-be aggressors of tomorrow.”

War latest – military action from Russian neighbour sparks new fears

John Kirby, a retired Rear Admiral and security adviser to Biden’s White House, told Sky News that Ukraine had been given everything it needed at just the right time, despite arguments it had been drip-fed weapons too slowly leading to a prolonged conflict.

But in reality, the argument between Germans and Americans over whether or not to send state-of-the-art battle tanks almost certainly delayed Ukraine’s counteroffensive – allowing Russia to strengthen its lines of defence.

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‘US not drip-feeding weapons to Ukraine’

Ukraine has also been asking for fighter jets for more than six months and is still waiting.

Some are also wondering whether the UK’s prime minister has helped this week as Biden tries to present a united front on the war.

Kirby would not be drawn on whether the Biden administration felt let down by the absence of leaders from two of its closest European allies at the UN general assembly.

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U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the 78th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, U.S., September 19, 2023.  REUTERS/Mike Segar
Mr Biden warned the world must stand up to Russia’s ‘naked’ aggression and support the people of Ukraine

Questions are being asked by observers and allies at this annual diplomatic gathering as to why Rishi Sunak chose to be the first British prime minister in 10 years not to come here in person.

He has foregone the chance to stand statesmanlike in the global limelight before his peers at the assembly because we are told he has too much on.

Instead, Mr Sunak has sent his deputy and foreign secretary.

But his absence has raised eyebrows and caused some disquiet about Britain’s commitment to addressing global challenges at what President Biden called a crucial juncture for the world.

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