US President Joe Biden delivered a speech in Warsaw on February 21, in which he praised his Polish hosts and reiterated Washington’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s war effort.
He also condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which first began on February 24, 2022.
Introduced by his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, the US President thanked the US and NATO for supporting Ukraine and defending the “free world.”
“Long live Ukraine, long live NATO, long live the United States, long live Poland,” cried Duda. “There is no freedom without solidarity.”
Since the conflict began, NATO member Poland has been one of Kiev’s strongest supporters, providing Ukraine with a large number of combat tanks.
Biden took the podium shortly afterwards and greeted the people of Poland, whom he described as “our great ally.”
“A year ago, the world expected Kiev to fall,” he declared. “But I have just returned from Kiev and I can say that Kiev is still held in high esteem.”
On February 20, Biden made a brief visit to Ukraine, where he met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and pledged an additional $500 million in aid to Kiev.
Last December, Biden invited Zelensky to the White House, reiterating his “unwavering” support for the administration.
Since Biden took office in January 2021, the United States has provided over $25 billion in security assistance to Ukraine.
Biden said in Warsaw that when Russian President Vladimir Putin “ordered the tanks to enter Ukraine, I thought we were going.”
“He was wrong,” Biden claimed. “Instead, he found Courage fighting Volodymyr Zelensky, a man forged in fire and steel.”
“Putin doubts that we have endurance,” he added. “But our support for Ukraine will not waver.”
Biden also responded to Putin’s allegations in a speech in Moscow on February 21.
“We are not trying to take control of Russia. As Putin said today, we are not planning to attack Russia,” Biden said. “Putin chose this war. He could end it today with one word.”
Referring to Ukraine’s counterattack last year, he added: The blue and yellow flags are waved again. “
As he had done the day before in Kiev, Biden used the opportunity to reiterate Washington’s continued support for Ukraine.
He said the US was at the forefront of a “coalition of 50 nations” dedicated to supporting Kiev and ensuring that it “has what it takes to defend itself.”
Biden also praised the bipartisan nature of the US support, saying that “both Democrats and Republicans have united to support Ukraine.”
“We continue to maintain the largest sanctions regime in history,” Biden said, referring to the vast number of Western-led sanctions against the Russian economy.
Biden ended by praising the 30-member NATO alliance, which he described as “the most powerful defense alliance in the world.”
He also claimed that the alliance was “unanimously united”.
“An attack on one is an attack on all,” Biden said, adding that there was a “sacred vow to defend every inch of NATO territory.”
Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but Kiev has repeatedly expressed a desire to join the Western Alliance.
On February 22nd, Biden will meet with the leaders of the so-called Bucharest Nine (B9), a group of NATO allies in Eastern Europe founded in 2015.
In addition to Poland, which joined the alliance in 1999, B9 consists of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia.
Biden visited Poland early last year, shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. During that visit, he publicly stated that Putin “cannot stay in power” – later claimed by the White House.
The president’s recent visit to Warsaw aims to rally Kiev’s allies amid growing frustration over a year-long conflict that has led to rising energy costs and the depletion of Europe’s arms stocks.
Recent polls suggest that support for the war is waning in both Europe and America.
Republicans in Washington, who took control of the House last year, have voiced their opposition to continued support for Kiev.
Early in the invasion, Russia gained large swathes of territory along the eastern Donbass region and Ukraine’s southern Black Sea coast.
After overseeing a controversial referendum last October, Moscow announced the unilateral annexation of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions.
Kiev and its allies have rejected the legitimacy of the move, and Ukrainian military officials, backed by Western supporters, have vowed to regain lost territory by force.
Moscow said its invasion and subsequent annexation was intended to protect Russian-speaking people in the Donbass region from alleged abuse by the Kiev government.
Kiev, on the other hand, denies the allegations, saying the move amounts to illegal land grabbing.
Despite a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive last fall, the Russian military appears to have regained the initiative.
Speculation has grown in recent weeks that the conflict’s one-year anniversary could coincide with a new Russian offensive along a 600-mile-long front line.