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Biden pledges $800 million in new weapons for Ukraine, says U.S. gas prices will remain high

Aerial footage released by the Ukrainian military on June 27 shows strikes on Snake Island in the Black Sea. (Video: Operational Command South via Storyful)
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The United States plans to announce another $800 million in weapons aid for Ukraine in the coming days, President Biden said Thursday at the close of a NATO summit in Madrid. He also warned U.S. consumers that gas prices would remain high as a result of the war.

Americans should prepare to pay a premium for gas for “as long as it takes to support Ukraine,” Biden said at a news conference. Western sanctions on Russia have hurt the country’s energy sector and curbed the global supply of oil. “As long as it takes so Russia cannot, in fact, defeat Ukraine and move beyond Ukraine. This is a critical, critical position for the world,” Biden said.

In a small but strategic win for Kyiv, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Thursday that its forces had withdrawn from Snake Island, a highly contested isle in the Black Sea, after a four-month-long occupation. Moscow framed the move as an effort to establish a humanitarian corridor for the export of agricultural products from Ukraine. But officials in the southern port city of Odessa said Russian troops had evacuated following missile and artillery strikes.

Here’s what else to know

  • Finland and Sweden are expected to formally sign the NATO accession protocol on Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin still intends to capture most of Ukraine and the war is likely to grind on, top U.S. intelligence official Avril Haines said.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Sweden and Finland on Thursday to meet their obligations to Turkey under an agreement signed at the NATO summit in Madrid, in order for the deal to be submitted to Turkey’s parliament for approval.
7:00 p.m.
Headshot of Lateshia Beachum
General assignment reporter
In his nightly address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky lauded the departure of Russians from Snake Island, saying it demonstrates Ukraine’s ability to thwart its enemies.“Undoubtedly, the main word today is Zmiinyi,” he said, referring to the Ukrainian name for the Black Sea island. “There was just as much talk about Zmiinyi only on the day when the Russian ship arrived there. Then the ship left — forever, and now the island is free again.”
4:18 p.m.
Headshot of Matt Bonesteel
Reporter for the Early Lead
The trial of American basketball star Brittney Griner, who has been detained in Russia since February on a drug-possession charge, is set to begin Friday.