NATO summit begins in Washington

The leaders of NATO's member countries have kicked off a summit meeting in Washington. The event comes as the alliance is celebrating its 75th anniversary.

The meeting runs from Tuesday through Thursday. The leaders are expected to agree on the importance of unity among the NATO member states and the need to provide Ukraine with more assistance, in light of Russia's continued invasion of the country.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg delivered an address. He said, "Russia's war against Ukraine is the biggest security crisis in generations."

He also said: "The biggest cost and the greatest risk will be if Russia wins in Ukraine. We cannot let that happen."

US President Joe Biden also delivered remarks. He said, "Today, NATO is more powerful than ever, 32 nations strong."

He added: "The war will end with Ukraine remaining a free and independent country. Russia will not prevail. Ukraine will prevail."

NATO says there is likely to be agreement on the need to expand the alliance's role, so that it can coordinate the delivery of weapons to Ukraine and training sessions for some of the country's troops. They are also expected to agree to take steps to secure funds, so that they can give Ukraine more military assistance.

There are concerns in Europe that a victory by Donald Trump in the US presidential election in November could have an impact on unity within the alliance. Trump has voiced skepticism about NATO.

Observers are also waiting to see whether Biden will be able to showcase his leadership skills during the meeting. This comes as concerns about his age continue to grow.