June 30, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Simone McCarthy, Helen Regan, Jeevan Ravindran, Hafsa Khalil, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 3:12 a.m. ET, July 1, 2022
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9:35 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Biden places blame for gas prices and food crisis squarely on Russia

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a media conference at the end of a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, on June 30.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a media conference at the end of a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, on June 30. (Bernat Armangue/AP)

US President Joe Biden said the increase in gas prices and food shortages around the globe are due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"The bottom line is ultimately the reason why gas prices are up is because of Russia. Russia, Russia, Russia. The reason why the food crisis exists is because of Russia," Biden said during a news conference at the NATO summit in Madrid.

Russia has blockaded Ukrainian Black Sea ports, not allowing grain to be exported from one of the main areas of grain production in the world.

"In addition, at home ... I've released a million barrels of oil per day from our oil reserve, and in addition to getting other nations to move forward, a total of 240 million barrels of oil to release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, number one. Number two, I have asked Congress, would they in fact go and temporarily end the tax on gasoline at the pump, and, thirdly to ask the states to do the same thing. If we do these things, it is estimated we could bring down tomorrow, if they — if Congress agreed and the states agreed, we could bring down the price of oil about a dollar a gallon at the pump in that range," he said, adding it would bring "immediate relief."

9:21 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Biden: Russia is paying a "very heavy price" for Ukraine war

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a media conference at the end of a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, on June 30.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a media conference at the end of a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, on June 30. (Bernat Armangue/AP)

While pledging to "support Ukraine as long as it takes," US President Joe Biden said that the war in Ukraine has already taken a toll on Russia.

"Look at the impact that the war on Ukraine has had on Russia. They've had to renege on their national debt for the first time since the beginning, almost well over 100 years. They've lost 15 years of the gains they've made in terms of their economy. They're in a situation where they're having trouble because of my imposition of dealing with what can be exported to Russia, in terms of technology. They're going to have trouble maintaining oil production because they don't have the technology to do it. ... And they also are in a similar situation in terms of their weapons systems and some of their military systems," he said at a news conference concluding the NATO summit in Madrid.  

"So they're paying a very, very heavy price for this," Biden said.  

Biden pledged the US and NATO will "stick with Ukraine."

"Ukraine has already dealt a severe blow to Russia: Russia in fact has already lost its international standing. Russia is in a position where the whole world is looking and saying, 'wait a minute, all this effort to try to take the whole country; you tried to take Kyiv, you lost, you tried to take the Donbas and all of it, you haven't done that yet,'" Biden said.

"The generic point is we're supplying them with the capacity and the overwhelming courage they have demonstrated that in fact they can continue to resist the Russian aggression. And so I don't know ... how it is going to end, but it will not end with a Russian defeat of Ukraine in Ukraine," Biden continued.

9:20 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Biden portrays transatlantic alliance as more united than ever in concluding NATO news conference

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

US President Joe Biden sought to portray the transatlantic alliance as more united than ever as he prepared to depart Europe after two summits focused heavily on the war in Ukraine.

“I told (Russian President Vladimir) Putin that if he invaded Ukraine, NATO would not only get stronger, but would get more united,” Biden said at a press conference at the conclusion of a NATO summit in Madrid. “And we would see what see democracies in the world stand up and oppose his aggression and defend the rules based order. And that's exactly what we're seeing today.”

Biden said the United States was “doing exactly what I said” and enhancing its force posture in Europe.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a media conference at the end of a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, ON June 30.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a media conference at the end of a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, ON June 30. (Bernat Armangue/AP)

He said the United States was “rallying the world to stand with Ukraine” and said he was preparing to unveil an additional $800 million in security assistance, including air defense systems, artillery, ammunition and counter-battery radar.

“We're moving to a place that reflects the realities of the second quarter of the 21st century And we're we're on the verge of making significant progress,” he said.

“Putin thought we could break the Transatlantic Alliance,” he went on. “He tried to weaken us, expected our resolve the fracture, but he's getting exactly what he did not want.”

11:34 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Biden: Putin is "getting exactly what he did not want"

(Susan Walsh/AP)
(Susan Walsh/AP)

US President Joe Biden said the decisions and deals announced at the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, show that NATO is "moving to a place that reflects the realities of the second quarter of the 21st century."

The world's response to every crisis created due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine shows Putin is "getting exactly what he did not want," Biden said.

"At every step of this trip, we set down a marker of unity, determination and deep capabilities of the democratic nations of the world to do what need to be done," he said. "Putin thought he could break the transatlantic alliance. He tried to weaken us. He expected our resolve to fracture. But he's getting exactly what he did not want."

"He wanted the Finlandization of NATO. He got the natoization of Finland," Biden added, as NATO invited Sweden and Finland to join the US-led military alliance, which has drawn an angered response from Russia. "We're more united than ever. And with the addition to Finland and Sweden, we'll be stronger than ever. They have serious militaries, both of them. We're going to increase the NATO border by 800 miles along the Finnish-Russian border. Sweden is all in."

Biden also noted NATO's work to address price hike in gas and oil and food insecurity affecting different parts of the world because of Russia's war in Ukraine.

"We tasked our teams to work on the details of the price cap on Russian oil, to drive down Putin's revenues without hurting Americans and others at the gas pump. We'll seek to use the funds from the tariffs on Russian goods to help Ukraine rebuild. We've committed more than $ 4.5 billion — more than half of that from the United States — to address food insecurity, and the immediate crisis caused by the Russian war."

 

9:05 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Biden calls NATO summit "historic" as alliance aims to address threats from Russia and China

U.S. President Joe Biden holds a news conference before departing the NATO summit at the IFEMA arena in Madrid, Spain, on June 30.
U.S. President Joe Biden holds a news conference before departing the NATO summit at the IFEMA arena in Madrid, Spain, on June 30. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

US President Joe Biden said the NATO summit in Madrid has been "historic" citing the decision to invite Finland and Sweden to the military alliance.

"This summit was about strengthening our alliance, meeting the challenges of our world as it is today, and the threats we're going to face in the future," he said.

Biden also addressed how the alliance is looking to meet "the direct threats Russia poses to Europe" and the "systematic challenges that China poses."

"The last time NATO drafted a new mission statement was 12 years. At that time, it characterized Russia as a partner, and it didn't even mention China. The world has changed — changed a great deal since then. And NATO is changing as well. At this summit, we rallied our alliances to meet both the direct threats of Russia poses to Europe and the systemic challenges that China poses to a rules-based world order," he said on Thursday.
9:03 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

NOW: Biden holds news conference at NATO summit

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

U.S. President Joe Biden holds a news conference before departing the NATO summit at the IFEMA arena in Madrid, Spain, on June 30.
U.S. President Joe Biden holds a news conference before departing the NATO summit at the IFEMA arena in Madrid, Spain, on June 30. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Before returning to Washington, US President Joe Biden is holding a news conference at the NATO summit in Madrid where he's expected to address the state of the war in Ukraine.

With Russia bogged down in a long-term conflict of attrition, NATO leaders leave here having taken historic steps to address a fundamentally altered security situation. It has given the organization a renewed sense of purpose after years wavering on how to approach Russia.

The alliance is poised to grow larger after formally inviting Finland and Sweden to join. The path was cleared for the two countries, each with long histories of military non-alignment, after Turkey dropped its objections, giving this summit a somewhat unexpected boost as it commenced.

Leaders made major enhancements of NATO's force posture along its eastern edge, increasing the number of high-alert troops by sevenfold. Biden announced new rotational deployments of US troops in the Baltics and Romania, new ships to Spain and planes to the United Kingdom, and for the first time a permanent Army garrison headquarters in Poland.

Read more about the summit here.

8:55 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Mayor of eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk urges residents to evacuate

From Anastasia Graham-Yooll in London

The mayor of Sloviansk, Vadym Liakh, has urged residents of the eastern Ukrainian city to evacuate as he issued a warning about the approach of Russian troops.

Six people were wounded and two of them were in “serious condition” after Russian forces fired on the city on Thursday, he said.

“Today at 11a.m., the enemy fired at the city of Sloviansk from multiple rocket launchers. Two explosions of cluster shells happened in a densely populated neighborhood, near a supermarket, as well as near a bus stop,” Liakh told Ukrainian broadcaster Espreso TV. “The shelling is ongoing. The enemy is close.”

10:20 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

NATO officials say plan to boost high response force to 300,000 is "still a work in progress"

From CNN's Natasha Bertrand

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a media conference at the end of the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, on June 30.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a media conference at the end of the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, on June 30. (Bernat Armangue/AP)

NATO military officials are walking back the secretary general’s announcement earlier this week that 300,000 troops “will” be placed on high alert across the alliance, now saying the high number is a “concept” the bloc aims to enact by mid-2023. 

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday that NATO “will increase the number of our high readiness forces to well over 300,000.” 

But it now appears that number is more aspirational, and is based on a new model NATO believes will take at least another year to accomplish. 

The initial announcement appeared to be a seven-fold increase from the 40,000 troops NATO currently has on high alert, and two NATO officials told CNN that number caught many NATO countries’ defense chiefs off guard. 

It was not clear to them, for example, which troops from each member state would need to contribute to that new high-readiness force, or whether enough countries had even been asked or agreed to provide the sufficient forces for it. It was a point of apparent confusion and disjointedness in an otherwise highly choreographed show of unity among the allies. 

Two senior NATO officials told reporters in a briefing on Thursday that the new high-readiness model will eventually replace the NATO Response Force model, but that it is “still a work in progress.”

“We know from nations, through our planning process, the number of forces that nations have at their disposal, the readiness that they have,” one of the officials said. “So there will be several iterations of populating this model, but we would not be giving figures for a model if we were not extremely confident that we could deliver on those things. But it's a work in progress.”

The officials indicated that under the new model, many of the troops would remain in their home countries rather than move under the command of NATO’s Allied Command Operations. But they would be quickly available to NATO should a security crisis arise, such as if Russia were to attack a member country. 

Asked what the trigger would be to move those forces to high alert under NATO command, one of the officials would only say it will involve “indications and warnings” of a potential attack. 

8:22 a.m. ET, June 30, 2022

Food crisis not caused by NATO sanctions, NATO secretary general says

From CNN's Chris Liakos

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a press conference on the second and final day of the NATO 2022 Summit at the IFEMA Trade Fair Center, Madrid, Spain, on June 30.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a press conference on the second and final day of the NATO 2022 Summit at the IFEMA Trade Fair Center, Madrid, Spain, on June 30. (E. Parra/EUROPA PRESS/Getty Images)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday denied that sanctions against Russia by NATO members are to blame for the worsening food crisis.

“Contrary to what President Putin and also China are now telling the world through different disinformation campaigns, this food crisis is not caused by NATO sanctions. It is caused by President Putin’s war and the best way to end the food crisis is to end the war,” Stoltenberg said.

“The impact is severe, including on some of the world's most vulnerable people. Food prices are hitting record highs, and many countries depend on Ukraine for substantial wheat and other food imports,” he added, noting that NATO allies discussed efforts to mitigate the crisis and get grain out of Ukraine.

The NATO chief said that Turkey is trying to facilitate some kind of agreement and that Greece announced “that they are ready to make available ships to get grain out of Ukraine.”

Lithuania and Romania are making efforts “to expand their own land capacity by railway to transport more food," he added.