Friday, March 31, 2023

Fresh from Kyiv, Biden rallies NATO allies in Poland

Fresh from an unannounced visit to Ukraine, President Joe Biden rallied NATO allies in Poland on Tuesday, proclaiming “unwavering” support for Kyiv and a commitment to bolstering the alliance’s eastern flank, reports Reuters.
On a trip clearly timed to overshadow a major speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin before the anniversary of the invasion, Biden met Polish President Andrzej Duda, one of the most vocal proponents of stronger Western support for Ukraine.
The U.S. president was due to give a keynote speech of his own later on Tuesday, in which he would rally support for Ukraine as the war enters its second year with no end in sight.
He opened his trip on Monday with an unannounced trip to Ukraine, billed as the first time a U.S. president has made such a journey to a country at war without U.S. troops on the ground controlling the area.
“As I told President Zelenskiy when we spoke in Kyiv yesterday, I can probably say that our support for Ukraine remains unwavering,” Biden told his Polish counterpart.
Duda said Biden’s visit showed U.S. commitment to maintaining security in Europe, and described Biden’s stop in Kyiv as an “incredible gesture”.
Poland has NATO’s longest border with Ukraine and has been the main route in for weapons and out for refugees. Duda’s foreign policy adviser said the men would discuss Poland’s security, and scaling up NATO resources there.
“It is no secret that we will talk about increasing the presence, also in terms of infrastructure, of NATO,” Marcin Przydacz told private broadcaster TVN 24.
The visit was welcomed by ordinary Poles and by the 2.5 million Ukrainians, mostly women and children refugees from the conflict, now living in the country. Many called for bolder Western support for Kyiv, including the supply of fighter jets, which Biden has so far held back from offering. “We hope that they (the U.S.) will increase shipments of arms, that things at the front will improve and that we will win,” said Alina Kiiko, 32, a Ukrainian in central Warsaw.


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