Russian President Vladimir Putin has “already lost the war” in Ukraine, US President Joe Biden has assured, expressing his belief that the Ukrainian counterattack will force Moscow to sit down at the negotiating table.

From Helsinki, where he met with the leaders of the Nordic countries, Biden also said that Ukraine will eventually join NATO and Putin will decide that it is not in Russia’s interest to continue the war. “No one can join NATO while there is a war,” the American president explained, because that would surely lead to the third world war.

“Putin has already lost the war. There is no chance of winning the war in Ukraine,” he added.

Biden also said he doesn’t think the war will last many years. “I hope, this is my expectation, that Ukraine will make significant progress in its offensive and that, at some point, will lead to a negotiated settlement,” he said. He also downplayed the possibility that Moscow would use nuclear weapons, despite recent, new threats from Russia following the decision by Western countries to deliver US F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. “I don’t think there is a real prospect (…) of Putin using nuclear weapons. Not only the West, but also China and the whole world has said: don’t go there,” he said.

The US president described the Nordic summit with the US as “very productive” and pledged that his country would protect “every centimeter” of NATO territory, including Finland, the alliance’s newest member. He also underlined that the accession of Finland and Sweden will make the world safer.

“Prigozin should watch what he eats”

Biden also referred to the possibility of killing Wagner mercenary head Yevgeny Prigozhin after his failed mutiny against Moscow, quipping that he should “watch what he eats.”

“God knows what he will do. Not sure where he is and his contacts. If I were Prigozhin, I’d watch what I eat. I’d watch the menu.”

Biden also said he was determined to do “everything possible” to free American journalist Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal correspondent who has been imprisoned in Russia for more than 100 days.

“I’m serious when I talk about a prisoner exchange. I am determined to do everything in our power to free Americans who are being held illegally in Russia or elsewhere. And this process is ongoing,” he added.