Biden vows in Warsaw to defend “every inch” of NATO territory | International | The USA Print

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, wanted to send this Wednesday a message of calm to NATO members in Eastern Europe, suspicious of a geographically close Moscow and concerned about the war in Ukraine. In a meeting with the leaders of nine countries in the region in Warsaw, one of the events scheduled to commemorate the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of the neighboring nation, Biden has promised: “We will defend every inch of the territory of the Alliance.”

After having assured the day before, in a speech in Warsaw, that “Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia”, Biden participated this Wednesday in a meeting in the Polish capital with the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, and the leaders of the group known as the Bucharest-9 or The Bucharest Nine. These nations – Poland, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary – are mostly among the most enthusiastic supporters of strong military support for Ukraine, calling for toughness against Russia. Officials from these governments have called for more equipment to be supplied to kyiv, including air defense systems.

“Article 5 (which commits all NATO countries to come to the aid of any member that has been attacked) is sacred,” Biden insisted. “You are on the front lines of our collective defense.”

Polish President Andrzej Duda, with whom Biden met the day before, has declared for his part that Russia’s attack on Ukraine has changed the security situation in Europe. Biden has agreed: “Things have changed. Now we have to see how we change them back to their original state.”

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The leaders of the countries on the eastern flank of NATO and Biden sought, according to the US president, to analyze in their meeting ways to “keep the Alliance strong and reinforce its deterrence capacity against possible aggressions.” They also intended to analyze the next steps to take to assist Ukraine in the war and establish a common position for the NATO summit in Vilnius, to be held next July.

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The foreign policy adviser to the Lithuanian presidency, Asta Skaisgiryte, had declared on his country’s radio before the meeting that his government would ask Biden for “greater involvement of the United States in Europe, on the eastern flank and more help for Ukraine ”. The Czech Prime Minister, Petr Fiala, stressed that “the Ukrainians are fighting with extreme courage”, but “they cannot do it without our help, nor the help of large and powerful countries that have the means and the ability to provide it”. In his speech, Stoltenberg has assured, on his part, that the Alliance has “to maintain and intensify” support for Ukraine. “We have to give Ukraine what they need to win,” he added.

The Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, who is closer to Moscow, did not participate in the meeting; His country was represented by the president, Katalin Novak.

The meeting came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s incendiary state of the nation address, in which he announced the suspension of his country’s participation in the New Start nuclear arms control treaty signed with the US. USA in 2010, and accused the West of wanting to “destroy” Russia. The Kremlin tenant also promised to “systematically” fulfill the objectives of the offensive in Ukraine that he ordered on February 24 last year.

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Beijing, under the magnifying glass of Washington

Asked by the journalists accompanying him on his tour – which began on Monday with a surprise visit to Kiev – Biden has described the Russian withdrawal from that pact, the last one still in force between Washington and Moscow for the control of their respective nuclear arsenals.

Almost simultaneously with the meeting in Warsaw, Putin met in Moscow with the main person in charge of China’s foreign policy, the security adviser Wang Yi. The Russian president has highlighted the importance of the ties between the two governments to “stabilize the international situation”, in a conversation that the Biden Administration is going to examine with a magnifying glass. The White House indicates that in recent weeks it has begun to detect “indications” that Beijing could begin to consider selling weapons to its strategic partner, something that it had not done in the 12 months of conflict that have elapsed.

The meeting with the Eastern European countries also comes on the eve of the extraordinary session of the UN Security Council to discuss the situation in Ukraine. In his speech in the gardens of the former royal palace in the Polish capital on Tuesday, Biden had threatened new sanctions to punish Russia, whose economy contracted last year by as much as 4.5%, according to the World Bank, as a result of international measures.

The session with the The Bucharest Nine culminates an intense series of diplomatic contacts in recent days by US leaders to express “unwavering” and “enduring” support for Ukraine, and to motivate other allies to continue supporting Kiev in the face of possible temptations to falter when it falls. It’s been a year since the war. Washington also wants to highlight the unity of NATO, “stronger than ever,” Biden declared on Tuesday after a bilateral meeting with his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda.

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In addition to Biden’s tour, US Vice President Kamala Harris had accused Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine in her speech at the Munich Security Conference last weekend. The German city was also the scene of a meeting between the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, with
his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in which he warned Beijing of the “implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia or assistance in the systematic evasion of sanctions.”

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