WARSAW, Poland (AP) — President Joe Biden He met with Polish President Andrzej Duda on Tuesday to begin a series of consultations with allies from NATO’s eastern flank to prepare for a more complex phase of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
Duda greeted Biden as he stepped out of his limo in a wet courtyard at the presidential palace here. They are scheduled to meet privately before Biden delivers a speech. Last March, Biden issued a scathing and highly personal rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin At the Royal Castle a few weeks after the start of the war.
Biden arrived in Warsaw on Monday after an unannounced visit to Kiev Both Ukraine and Russia aim to cement Western unity as they prepare to launch spring offensives. The conflict – Europe’s most significant war since World War II – has already killed tens of thousands of people, destroyed Ukraine’s infrastructure and damaged the global economy.
“I thought it was important that there was no doubt, none, about American support for Ukraine in the war,” Biden said as he stood with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev before departing for Poland. “The Ukrainian people have advanced in a way that few have in the past.”
Speaking from Warsaw’s Royal Castle Gardens, Biden is expected to highlight the commitment of Poland and other allies to Ukraine over the past year.. On Wednesday, he will hold consultations with Duda and other leaders of the Bucharest Nine, a group of eastern members of the NATO military alliance.
White House national security adviser Jack Sullivan said the Royal Castle speech would be “vintage Joe Biden” and that the Democratic president would say action by Democrats will reverberate for years to come.
Biden is scheduled to speak on the same day as Putin delivers his long-delayed State of the Nation Address. In it he declared that Russia was “impossible to defeat on the battlefield”. Putin also announced that Moscow would end its participation in the nuclear arms control treaty with the United States.
The so-called New START treaty limits the number of long-range nuclear weapons and restricts the use of missiles carrying nuclear warheads.
Sullivan said Biden’s address was “kind of a head-scratcher” with Putin’s.
“It’s not a rhetorical contest with anybody else,” he said. “It is a concrete statement of values, a vision of how the world should be that we are both trying to create and preserve.”
Duda said Biden’s presence on Polish soil as the war’s anniversary approaches sends an important signal about America’s commitment to European security. Duda said his speech “will be one that much of the world, if not literally the world, has been waiting for.”
While Biden wants to use his whirlwind trip to Europe as a moment to reassure Ukraine and allies, the White House has insisted there is no clear end to the war. .
On Sunday the administration revealed it had new intelligence that China, which had been on the sidelines of the conflict, was now considering sending lethal aid to Moscow. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said it would become a “serious problem” if Beijing followed suit.
Biden and Zelensky talked about Ukraine’s need to “win on the battlefield” in the coming months, Sullivan said. Zelenskyy has been pressing the United States and European allies to provide fighter jets and long-range missile systems, known as ATACMS — something Biden has so far refused to offer. Sullivan declined to comment on whether there was any movement on the matter during the leaders’ speech.
With no end in sight to the war, the anniversary is an important moment for Biden Try to reinforce European unity and reiterate that Putin’s invasion is a frontal assault on the post-World War II international order. The White House hopes the president’s visit to Kyiv and Warsaw will help strengthen American and global resolve.
“It’s going to be a long war,” said Michael Baranovsky, executive director of the German Marshall Fund East. “If we don’t have political leadership, if we don’t explain to our communities why this war is important for their security … Ukraine will be in trouble.”
In the US, an Associated Press-NRC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released last week showed Support for arms and direct economic aid to Ukraine is softening. Earlier this month, 11 House Republicans introduced a “Ukraine exhaustion” resolution urging Biden to end military and financial aid to Ukraine, while urging Ukraine and Russia to reach a peace deal.
During his visit to Kiev, Biden rejected the idea that US support was waning.
“For all the disagreements in our Congress on some issues, there is remarkable agreement in support of Ukraine,” he said. “It’s not just about freedom in Ukraine. … It’s about democratic freedom.
Some establishment Republicans tell Biden and others in Washington why it’s more important now than ever to continue supporting the Ukraine cause.
“To me this is a war of aggression, war crimes on steroids, on TV every day. Ignoring this leads to more aggression,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C. “Putin will not stand in Ukraine. I firmly believe that continuing to help Ukraine is in the core of our national security interests, and I can and will continue to sell it at home.
John Herbst, a former U.S. ambassador who served as the top diplomat to Ukraine from 2003 to 2006, said the Biden White House could do better to “at least contain Putin in Ukraine” to convey to domestic audiences that the U.S. economy and abroad are there. Policy interests and Russia reduce the likelihood of the conflict turning into a wider war.
Herbst, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, said, “The smart play is to provide substantial aid to Ukraine to ensure that the Putin problem is resolved. “If it is made clear from the Oval Office and then repeated regularly by the president, his senior foreign policy and national security team, the American public will accept it. I have no doubt.”
Ahead of the trip, the White House noted Poland’s efforts to help Ukraine. More than 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees have settled in Poland since the beginning of the war, and millions more have gone through Poland to other countries. According to the White House, Poland has provided $3.8 billion in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
The Biden administration announced last summer that it would establish a permanent U.S. garrison in Poland, creating a permanent U.S. foothold on NATO’s eastern flank.
The United States has given Ukraine about $113 billion in aid since last year, while European allies have provided tens of billions more and welcomed millions of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the conflict.
“We built a coalition from the Atlantic to the Pacific,” Biden said. “Russia’s aim is to wipe Ukraine off the map. Putin’s war of conquest is losing.
Miller reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Monika Cieslowska in Warsaw and Ivan Vucci in Kiev and Chris Megarion and Kevin Freking in Washington contributed to this report.