US President Joe Biden has concluded his four-day visit to Poland and Ukraine by reassuring NATO allies in the eastern flank about the looming threats and impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Before leaving Warsaw, he held talks with the Bucharest Nine leaders, a group of nations on the easternmost parts of the NATO alliance formed in response to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.
The Bucharest Nine countries are worried about Putin’s possible military action against them after Ukraine. During his address in Warsaw, Biden said that the whole world faced a test for the ages when Russia invaded Ukraine, and all democracies were being tested.
To address NATO members’ concerns about potential Russian aggression, Biden pledged America’s ironclad commitment to the mutual defense treaty and Ukraine’s defense. He also endorsed Moldova’s bid to join the EU during his meeting with Moldovan President Maia Sandu, who accused Moscow of plotting to overthrow her country’s government.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his own address and lashed out against Ukraine and its Western allies. He also announced that Moscow would suspend its participation in the last remaining US-Russia arms control treaty. Biden met with Hungarian President Katalin Novák, who attended the meeting in Viktor Orban’s stead. Orban, the right-wing populist leader, has balked at sanctions on Moscow and arming Kyiv.
The White House praised several eastern flank countries, including Lithuania, Poland, and Romania, for stepping up their efforts to back Ukraine with weapons and economic aid and taking in refugees. Biden gave particular attention to Poland’s efforts, which has committed $3.8 billion in military and economic aid to Kyiv and is hosting around 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees.
Biden’s visit to Poland and Ukraine was a grand gesture of solidarity with Ukraine and an affirmation of Europe’s role in helping Ukraine repel Russia’s ongoing invasion. It was also a warning to Putin that the US won’t abide Moscow defeating Ukraine.