U.S. President Joe Biden has said the fate of democracy would be determined by decisions made by the U.S. and its allies in the coming years, as he championed diplomatic breakthroughs at this week’s NATO summit and sought to implicitly bolster his re-election prospects.

"The defense of freedom is not the work of a day or a year. It is the calling of our lifetime,” Biden said Wednesday in a speech capping a two-day meeting of leaders from the military alliance.

The summit proved a test of Biden’s devotion to diplomatic engagement. Before leaders arrived, Turkey suggested it wouldn’t move forward with Sweden’s application to join the alliance if its own bid to join the European Union wasn’t accepted. And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sent shockwaves through the gathering when he tweeted that intentionally vague compromise language surrounding Ukraine’s own NATO bid was "unprecedented and absurd.”