After Monday’s surprise trip to Kyiv, President Joe Biden will highlight a united front with key allies in Poland Tuesday as he marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Biden’s trip to Poland, which kicked off a day early after stopping in Kyiv, comes as Russia has started what is expected to be a fierce spring assault in Ukraine. Although Biden announced new assistance to the war-ravaged ally, the trip also comes as polls show support softening among the American public for providing Ukraine with taxpayer-funded weaponry and direct assistance.
Ahead of his remarks, Biden held a bilateral meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda. In remarks ahead of the bilateral meeting, Biden highlighted his visit to Poland last year, saying that “a year later that NATO is stronger than it’s ever been.”
“The United States needs Poland and NATO as much as Poland and NATO need the United States,” Biden said.
Duda in his opening remarks praised Biden’s surprise trip to Kyiv, saying that it’s “a sign that a free world has not forgotten them.”
“This visit is crucially important, it is a symbolic visit here to our region,” Duda said, according to a translator. “The United States of America carries constantly the responsibility for the security of Europe and the world.”
Surprise Ukraine visit: Biden made an unannounced stop to war-torn Ukraine Monday ahead of his three-day trip to Poland. He went to the country’s capital city, Kyiv, where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and toured parts of the city.
More aid to Ukraine: During his visit to Kyiv, Biden announced roughly half a billion dollars in additional security assistance to Ukraine. The package would include more military equipment, including artillery ammunition; more Javelins, an anti-tank missile system; and howitzers, or long-range artillery weapons, Biden said.
What’s on Biden’s agenda? Biden on Tuesday met with Duda to discuss his nation’s logistical role in getting military aid to Ukraine and collective efforts to bolster deterrence efforts among the NATO alliance. He also plans to meet Wednesday with allies on NATO’s eastern flank to reaffirm U.S. support for the security of the alliance.
Biden to deliver speech: The president will give a speech Tuesday ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His remarks will address how the U.S. has rallied the world to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and democracy, the White House said.
Second visit to Poland: This is Biden’s second visit to Poland in less than a year. He traveled to the country last March, just weeks after the war in Ukraine began to present a united front with U.S. allies against Russian aggression. At the time, he met with Ukrainian refugees during that trip.
The president’s visit to Kyiv and Poland this week comes just days ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of the former Soviet republic — which has triggered the largest conflict in Europe since World War II.
During his visit to Ukraine which Russia first invaded on Feb. 24, 2022, Biden highlighted the United States support of the country and vowed to continue to provide supportfor the duration of the war.
And he plans to deliver a similar message in Poland, hoping to highlight how the United States has rallied international support around Ukraine and punished Russia for its aggression.
“Putin thought Ukraine was weak and the West was divided,” Biden said Monday in Kyiv. “He thought he could outlast us. I don’t think he’s thinking that right now.”
“He’s just been plain wrong,” Biden added. “One year later, the evidence is right here in this room. We stand here together.”
Putin’s combative speech
Ahead of Biden’s speech Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his own address ahead of the anniversary of Russia invading Ukraine.
During his remarks, Putin announced that he was suspending Moscow’s participation in New START – a strategic nuclear arms reduction treaty between the U.S. and Russia. He attributed the action to the U.S. and NATO, but did not add any specifics.
The move signals that Russia’s war with its neighbor will continue as the United States has vowed to supply Ukraine with aid and weapons as long as conflict goes on.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in a call with reporters declined to comment on Putin’s speech, as it was ongoing at the time. But he said Biden’s speech “is not a rhetorical contest with anyone else.”
“This is an affirmative statement of values, a vision for what the world we’re both trying to build and defend should look like,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan added that Biden’s speech will not be a rebuttal but “rather to lay to rest an argument that Russia has been making for some time” that the United States and the West has caused the war.
“The President will take that argument on quite directly and emphatically,” Sullivan said.
Want to know more? Here’s what you missed
BIDEN MAKES SURPRISE UKRAINE STOP: Joe Biden walks streets of Kyiv in surprise visit: ‘Americans stand with you’
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AMERICANS GROW WEARY OF WAR IN UKRAINE: Support for providing weapons to Ukraine fading in US
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Contributing: Kim Hjelmgaard
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden speech livestream: Biden in Poland marks Russia Ukraine war