U.S. President Joe Biden addresses NATO military alliance leaders in Poland on Feb. 22, promising Russia to continue to support their security even after it suspends a major nuclear arms control treaty. .
Biden addressed NATO’s eastern leaders, colloquially known as the “Bucharest Nine,” who joined NATO after decades of communist rule by the Soviet Union.
Among the members of this group are NATO supporters who strongly support military aid to Ukraine, which has defended itself against various Russian conquests since 2014.
In a speech in Warsaw, Mr Biden said, “As the eastern flank of NATO, you are the first line of our collective defense.
“You know better than anyone what is at stake in this conflict. Not only for Ukraine, but for democratic freedoms throughout Europe and around the world.”
Biden reaffirmed America’s commitment to NATO security days after several threats from Russia against both Ukraine and Western democracies.
On February 21, Russian leader Vladimir Putin delivered a nationally televised speech. blamed the west He repeated false claims about Ukraine’s bioweapons and accused Western democracies of creating Nazism for what he called “colonialism”.
Putin also accused the United States and Western powers of plotting terrorist and military attacks on Russian bases, which Mr Biden dismissed as blatantly false.
According to Biden, the decision to conquer Ukraine was Putin’s own choice.
The president said any attempt by Russia to harm NATO member states would lead to the activation of Article 5 of the alliance, which guarantees the collective defense of NATO members by all other members.
“Article 5 is the sacred promise that the United States has promised,” Biden said.
The saga of the duel between the democratic West and authoritarian Russia comes just two days before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine, and President Putin announced that Russia has embarked on a landmark New START. It came after announcing that it would stop participating in the pact. Warheads that the United States and Russia can produce or deploy.
Russia boasts the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, and in recent months Putin has deployed tactical nuclear-armed warships to the Baltic Sea in an intensification not seen since the Cold War.
Despite suspending its participation in the treaty, the Kremlin insists it will stick to the agreed nuclear warhead limit.
Mr Biden called Putin’s decision to suspend the treaty a “huge mistake” and said a “dictator” like Mr Putin must oppose it at any cost.
He said he plans to discuss additional aid to Ukraine before returning to Washington. Meanwhile, the Kremlin argues that NATO, which may soon expand to include Sweden and Finland, poses an existential threat to Russia.
Biden described Russia’s attempt to conquer and Ukraine’s resistance as a test for democratic societies around the world. From that test, he said, the West would be stronger.
“When Russia invaded, it was not just Ukraine that was put to the test, the whole world faced years of trials,” he said. “Europe was being tested. America was being tested. NATO was being tested. All democracies were being tested.
“The questions we faced were as profound as they were simple: Will we react or look the other way? Are we strong or weak? Will all allies unite or split?
“A year later we know the answer. We have responded. We will be strong. We will be united. And the world will not look the other way.”
Reuters contributed to this report.