During a speech in Warsaw, US President Joe Biden warned Russia against an attack on NATO and swears by the strength of the defense alliance. "Every member of NATO knows it, and Russia knows it too: an attack against one is an attack against all. It is a sacred oath to defend every inch of NATO territory," said Biden on Tuesday evening at the Warsaw Royal Castle.
Kremlin chief President Vladimir Putin has doubted that NATO can remain united after the Russian attack on Ukraine. "But there should be no doubt that our support for Ukraine will not waver. NATO will not be divided and we will not tire," said the US President.
Biden spoke at the Royal Castle in the Polish capital this Friday on the occasion of the upcoming first anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine. The castle is considered a symbol of the city, which was largely destroyed in World War II and later rebuilt. Just a few hours earlier, Kremlin chief Putin had given a speech on the state of his nation in Moscow and announced the suspension of the last major nuclear disarmament treaty.
NATO alliance "rock solid"
Biden has now made it clear again that the United States' commitment to the NATO alliance and Article Five is rock solid. Article Five stipulates that the Allies undertake to provide assistance in the event of an armed attack against one or more of them. Biden stressed that support for Kiev would not dry up. The war strengthened the West and also pushed Finland and Sweden into the arms of NATO, he said. "Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia."
Biden also announced new sanctions later this week "that will hold everyone responsible for this war accountable." It is about bringing justice to the war crimes and crimes against humanity that the Russians continue to commit.
In his speech, the US President finally addressed the people of Russia. "The United States and European nations do not want to control or destroy Russia," he said to them. Before the war began, the West had no intention of attacking Russia, as Putin claims. "Every day that the war goes on is his decision. He could end the war with one word. It's very simple."
Travel to Kiev under tight security
The attacked Ukraine vowed Biden that there would continue to be "hard and very bitter days, victories and tragedies". The 80-year-old also spoke about his trip to Kiev on Monday. "A year ago, the world was preparing for the fall of Kiev," he said. But he has now been able to convince himself on site that Kiev is strong. The Ukrainian capital is "proud", "upright" and "free". Biden had traveled to Kiev under the strictest security precautions and, together with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj, had visited symbolic places in the metropolis.
It is already Biden's second speech in front of the historic palace backdrop in Warsaw. The US President last visited Ukraine's neighbor at the end of March 2022, around a month after the outbreak of war. Even then, Ukraine had assured support and sharply attacked Kremlin chief Putin. This time, Poland's President Andrzej Duda made opening remarks before Biden's much-anticipated speech. "I call on all the heads of state and government of the European NATO countries to show solidarity with Ukraine, to support Ukraine and to provide constant military support so that the defenders of Ukraine have something to fight with," he said he.
Duda had previously stressed that he saw the presence of US troops as an important element of his country's security. According to the Defense Ministry in Washington, there are already around 11,000 US soldiers in the eastern NATO and EU member state, most of them on a rotation basis. The government in Warsaw hopes for an even larger US military presence. Poland has a border with Ukraine that is more than 500 kilometers long. Not only did Poland take in a good 1.5 million war refugees from there, it has also repeatedly pushed ahead with initiatives to provide military support for Kiev in recent months.