President Joe Biden responds to questions from the press after his meeting with NATO leaders on Monday and called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "worthy adversary."
JOE BIDEN: NATO, NATO stands together. That's how we've met every other threat in the past. It's our greatest strength as we meet our challenges of the future, and there are many. Can everyone, everyone in the room today understood the shared appreciation, quite frankly, that America is back. We talked about Russia's aggressive acts that pose a threat to NATO and our collective security. That's why met with the Bucharest Nine, the eastern flank allies, in advance of the summit. And today, I also met with the leaders of the three Baltic States, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.
I shared with our allies that I'll convey to--what I'll conveyed to President Putin, that I'm not looking for conflict with Russia, but that we will respond if Russia continues its harmful activities, and we will not fail to defend the trans-Atlantic alliance or stand up for democratic values. As allies, we also affirmed our continued support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We agreed to keep consulting closely on nuclear deterrence, arms control, and strategic stability.
And there was a strong consensus in the room among the leaders in that meeting on Afghanistan. Our troops are coming home, but we agreed that our diplomatic, economic, and humanitarian commitment to the Afghan people and our support for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces will endure. And I welcomed our allies and partners that recognize that counterterrorism--that counterterrorism efforts must continue to ensure that Afghanistan never again becomes cave--a safe haven for attacks on our countries, even as we take on terrorist networks in the Middle East and Africa.