Vilnius International Airport
8:50 P.M. EEST
THE PRESIDENT: You all ready to go to Finland?
Q Are you ready?
Q How’d it go?
THE PRESIDENT: I’m ready. Have you ever seen me not ready?
Q How did your meeting with Zelenskyy go? Did you talk about long-range missiles?
THE PRESIDENT: It went very well, and I think he’d tell you that. We spent about an hour together, and I think we’re — we’re on the right track.
And so, I’m feeling good about the trip. And, you know, we accomplished every goal we set out to accomplish. I know there was some cynicism about whether I could talk the Turks into Sweden and —
Q How — how long do you think it’ll take to get Ukraine into NATO? I mean, it’s not for a while, right?
THE PRESIDENT: I think until the war is over.
But, look, the one thing Zelenskyy understands now is that whether or not he’s in NATO now is not relevant as long as he has the commitments that — you remember my talking about saying we’d treat it like — guarantee his security, along with a number of other NATO countries, as it related to how we deal with, for example, Israel — long term. So he’s not concerned about that now. And —
Q Do you believe the issue of Crimea needs to be fully resolved?
THE PRESIDENT: Say again?
Q Do you feel the issue of Crimea needs to be fully resolved to mean the war is over?
THE PRESIDENT: Seventeen other things need to be fully resolved too. Crimea is important, but there’s much more to deal with. There’s —
Q Mr. President, what sort of update did President Zelenskyy give you on how their counteroffensive is going?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’m — I’m not at liberty to give you the detail of that. But it’s — we talked at length about it with all his military people within there, and they’re — they’re still optimistic, but they know it’s a hard slog. And — so, any rate.
But I — I don’t think it’d be appropriate to —
Q Sir, are you thinking about sending ATACMS — the surface-to-surface missiles — yet? Is that something that is on your mind at all yet?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but they — they already have the equivalent of ATACMS now. What we need most of all is artillery shells, and they’re in short supply. We’re working on that.
And so, he seemed very — very satisfied with everything we’re doing, when we left.
Q Are you confident — on Turkey — that Senator Menendez will drop his objections to sending the F-16s to Turkey?
THE PRESIDENT: I’m confident that Turkey will continue to support Sweden getting into NATO. And I’m confident that we’ll be able to sell F-16s.
Q Mr. President, after this summit and all the support that the NATO gave for Ukraine, and the G7, what kind of message does this send to President Putin?
THE PRESIDENT: We’re together. We’re together.
8:53 P.M. EEST