President Joe Bidenfresh from a visit to Kiev, would confirm to US allies on Tuesday that the US is fully behind Ukraine and committed to strengthening NATO’s eastern flank on the anniversary of Russia’s the invasion is approaching.
Biden arrived in Warsaw late Monday after a dramatic visit to Kiev where he met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is seeking more weapons as Ukraine prepares for a spring offensive against the Russians.
Biden will deliver a speech to rally support for Ukraine as the war enters its second year on February 24 with no end in sight.
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He was due to meet Polish President Andrzej Duda to discuss collective support for Ukraine and thank Warsaw for helping the US and other countries deliver military and humanitarian aid.
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 also discuss Poland’s security and expanding 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 TVN 24.
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The visit was welcomed by ordinary Poles and by the 2.5 million Ukrainians, most of them women and children fleeing the conflict, who now live in the country.
“We hope that they (the US) will increase the supply of weapons, that things at the front will improve and that we will win,” said Alina Kiiko, 32, a Ukrainian in central Warsaw.
In the Roman Dmowski roundabout in the center of the city, a giant advertising screen displayed the slogan: “Biden, give F-16 to Ukraine” in English, referring to American fighter jets.
Warsaw resident Marian Switala, 70, said he hoped “that this conflict will somehow be resolved and that there will be peace in Ukraine and the surrounding area.”
Before returning to Washington on Wednesday, Biden will meet with leaders of the Bucharest Nine, the countries on NATO’s eastern flank, to reaffirm support for their security.
While Biden was in Kiev on Monday, the State Department announced more aid to Ukraine, consisting of $450 million in artillery ammunition, anti-tank systems and air defense radars and $10 million for energy infrastructure.
However, Biden has not approved Ukraine’s request for fighter jets.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda’s message to Biden will be that they want “greater US involvement in Europe, NATO’s eastern flank and, of course, more aid to Ukraine,” his top foreign policy adviser told Lithuanian radio on Tuesday.
– Lithuania and other like-minded countries have several requests related to air defense, defense presence, air defense systems and major investments in the defense industry, says Asta Skaisgiryte.
Later this week, Washington will announce additional sanctions against individuals and companies that “seek to evade sanctions and fuel Russia’s war machine,” a White House spokesman said.
Biden arrives in Poland on the day of a major speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin, which condemned the West.
A year ago, Biden warned skeptical allies that a massive build-up of Russian troops along Ukraine’s borders was a precursor to war. At the time, even some within his own government questioned Ukraine’s ability to withstand an invasion.
Instead, Ukrainian forces held Kiev and pushed Russia back out of some of the territory it seized in the first weeks of the war, with the help of Western arms, ammunition and equipment.
The United States has sent more than $24 billion in security aid, but U.S. officials say the war could continue for many months or even years.