U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday used the first state visit of his leadership to demonstrate unity with France's Emmanuel Macron on Ukraine, show willingness to speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin and assuage European anger over U.S. subsidies.

The president and first lady Jill Biden were holding a sumptuous, star-studded White House state dinner, featuring music from Jon Batiste and Chardonnay from the Napa Valley, in honor of President Macron and his wife, Brigitte.

But Ukraine, the biggest attack on a European state since 1945, remained the most pressing issue for the leaders, who vowed to continue robust support and to back Kyiv during the tough winter months.