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UPDATE: Biden in Warsaw says US needs Poland as much as Poland needs US

21.02.2023 17:15
The Polish and US presidents held talks in Warsaw on Tuesday on the war in Ukraine and the strengthening of the eastern flank of NATO, and Joe Biden told Poland's Andrzej Duda that America needed Poland as much as Poland needed America.
Andrzej Duda (right) and Joe Biden (left) meet at the presidential palace in Warsaw on Tuesday, February 21, 2023.
Andrzej Duda (right) and Joe Biden (left) meet at the presidential palace in Warsaw on Tuesday, February 21, 2023.KPRP/Jakub Szymczuk

Duda and Biden met for bilateral talks at Warsaw’s presidential palace in the early afternoon on Tuesday, Polish state news agency reported.

The Polish president thanked his guest for his surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday. 

“It was an exceptionally spectacular strategic and political move, an exceptionally important political signal, obviously mainly for Ukraine,” Duda told Biden.

He added that the US president’s trip to Kyiv “surely gave an enormous boost to the morale of the defenders of Ukraine and of all those who oversee Ukraine’s defence today," including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "and his team.”

The Polish president said Biden’s surprise visit to Ukraine was also “an extraordinary gesture to our NATO allies and generally to people who stand on the side of the free world.”

‘An extremely important, symbolic visit’

The Polish head of state told his US counterpart that Poland was “delighted” to host him, adding that “for us it is also an enormously important sign of security.” 

Duda went on to say: “For us all, it’s an extremely important, symbolic visit, here, in the region. We, Polish people, do not treat it merely as a visit to our country. It’s a visit to our region, coupled with a visit to Kyiv. It’s a very strong message of the responsibility that the US is constantly bearing for the security of Europe and the world.”

Biden’s visit sends message that ‘Poland is safe’

Duda said, addressing Biden: “Your presence, your upcoming address in Warsaw, also sends a big message to the US and world investors, that Poland is safe, that it’s a country you can safely travel to from the other side of the globe.”

‘US needs Poland as much as Poland needs US’: Biden

Meanwhile, the US leader thanked for the invitation to visit Poland “at this special time,” and noted he was in the country last year to affirm support for Ukraine following the Russian invasion. 

Biden reiterated that “the United States needs Poland as much as Poland needs the United States” and that “we have to have security in Europe,” adding that it’s “a fundamental issue,” as quoted by the PAP news agency.  

The US president thanked his Polish counterpart for Poland’s commitment to supporting the people of Ukraine, and called the relationship between the two nations “critical, critical, critical,” US broadcaster CNN reported. 

Biden said he believed Ukraine was in a “better position than we’ve ever been” and urged NATO allies to “keep our head and our focus.” 

He stressed: “I made it clear that the commitment of the United States is real and that a year later I would argue NATO is stronger than it’s ever been. I can proudly say that our support for Ukraine remains unwavering.”

Poland’s support for Ukraine ‘truly extraordinary’

Biden called Poland’s support for Ukraine “truly extraordinary” and thanked the country and its people for welcoming over 1 million Ukrainians. 

He also said that “the connection between Polish and American people is extremely strong and deep,” adding that he was joking with Duda that he grew up “self-conscious” that he didn’t have a Polish name like many of his neighbours, according to CNN. 

“A lot of challenges we have to face but I’m confident we can do it together,” the US leader said.

Biden to make major speech in Warsaw

Later on Tuesday, Biden was expected to make a major address to the Polish people in the gardens of Warsaw’s historic Royal Castle to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The US embassy in Warsaw has said that Biden "will deliver remarks ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, addressing how the United States has rallied the world to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and democracy, and how we will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes."

While in Poland, Biden is expected to attend a summit of the Bucharest Nine (B9) group of eastern-flank NATO allies on Wednesday.

During his visit, Biden will also hold talks with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and meet with US embassy staff, according to the White House.

Biden arrived in Warsaw late on Monday for a busy two-day trip including talks with the Polish head of state and a meeting with NATO allies to discuss the West's response to Russia’s nearly year-old invasion of Ukraine.

Biden previously visited Poland in March last year, shortly after the start of the war in Ukraine.

In a major speech in Warsaw at the time, he told the world that Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power" amid Russia's brutal war against Ukraine.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

Tuesday is day 363 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, Reuters, CNN, prezydent.pl